Zimbabwe Vote; Mugabe Sworn In
The London Telegraph
Britain has said the result of the Zimbabwe election was not credibly without an independent investigation of alleged vote-rigging, as Robert Mugabe was sworn in for a new five-year term as president.
Morgan Tsvangirai, the opposition leader, launched the legal challenge, alleging up to a million eligible voters were excluded and demanding that electoral rolls be released.
He condemned the election as "a farce", but last week withdrew the petition, saying he would not get a fair hearing.
William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, said: "I am extremely concerned that the MDC-T had to withdraw its legal challenge due to concerns over the independence of the judiciary.
"I strongly believe that an independent investigation of any allegations of election irregularities would be required for the election result to be deemed credible."
Mr. Hague reiterated that he had "grave concerns" over the conduct of the election and the "flaws" highlighted in the initial assessments of the South African Development Community (SADC) and African Union (AU) observation missions.
"There is strong evidence that these elections fell short of SADC's own guidelines and the Zimbabwean electoral law," he said in a statement.
"We are concerned about the potential implications for the region."
Mr. Mugabe, 89, ushers in a new five-year term in a 60,000-capacity stadium in a ceremony to which around 40 leaders have been invited. Organizers say the event will be similar to Mr. Mugabe's inauguration as prime minister in 1980.
Mr. Tsvangirai will not attend the inauguration.
"Expecting Tsvangirai to attend the inauguration is like expecting a victim of robbery to attend a party hosted by the robber," Tsvangirai's spokesman Luke Tamborinyoka said.
READ FULL SOURCE ARTICLE: 08/22/2013
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