US and UK Concerned about Zimbabwe’s Elections
Via the BBC: US and UK concern over Zimbabwe election results
The US and UK have expressed concern after official results from Zimbabwe’s elections gave President Robert Mugabe a seventh term in office amid claims of electoral fraud.
US Secretary of State John Kerry said the results did not "represent a credible expression of the people".
Major Western groups were not invited to send observer missions to monitor Wednesday’s election.
The US has described the vote as "deeply flawed".
"In light of substantial electoral irregularities reported by domestic and regional observers, the United States does not believe that the results represent a credible expression of the will of the Zimbabwean people," Mr Kerry said.
Former colonial power the UK also expressed "grave concerns" over reports of large numbers of voters being turned away from polling stations.
British Foreign Minister William Hague urged a thorough investigation of all allegations of violations.
Meanwhile the European Union which maintains sanctions on Mr Mugabe and his senior aides, said it was worried about "alleged irregularities and reports of incomplete participation" in the election.
Monitoring groups disagreed over the conduct of the election.
The most critical account came from the largest group of monitors, the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN), which had 7,000 workers observing the vote.
The organisation said problems with voter registration had left up to one million people unable to cast their ballots, mostly in urban areas regarded as MDC strongholds.
However, South Africa is sending congratulations:
South Africa issued a statement from President Jacob Zuma extending "profound congratulations" to Mr Mugabe following the "successful, harmonised elections".
This is a disappointing stance, given South Africa’s successful transition to democracy. Because, without a doubt, Mugabe has been no force for democracy in Zimbabwe and his time in office has hardly been good for the citizens of that country.