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Home | ZimCrisis#51 -- Foreign Government Reactions

Date: Tue, 20 Jun 2000 18:54:33 -0700
To: "Zimbabwe Crisis Mailing List":;
From: Zimbabwe Crisis
Subject: ZimCrisis#51 -- Foreign Government Reactions
Cc: "Australian government":;, "British government":;,
"Canadian government":
;, "South African government":;,
"US government":;, Commonwealth:;, "NG organisations":;, Press:;

Hi everyone,

Apparently tourism is down in Zimbabwe. Gee, I wonder why when governments such as Canada are issuing the following travel bulletins to their citizens:

"Presidential elections will take place on June 24 and 25, 2000. Widespread violence is occurring. Canadians should avoid political rallies and public demonstrations."

I'm sure nobody will be surprised that the less-than-bright (but very polite) Canadians don't know the difference between presidential and parliamentary elections!

The pertinent part of today's US Department of State press briefing is below. Other reports say that the Zimbabwe government has refused to accredit about 75% of the people trained to be poll monitors, saying that they will allow only one monitor per polling station, as opposed to the internationally accepted standard of four. Tell me, do you think they might be trying to intimidate the monitors? Put yourself in the shoes of a lone monitor at a polling station out in the sticks when the local thugs from ZANU-PF show up to vote.

As I said in my last message, the news reports are suggesting 50 - 80 seats for the MDC. Either end of that range would be a blow to ZANU-PF and Mugabe, but let's hope that the momentum continues throughout the week and they blow through the top end of that estimate. I don't want to see an MDC dictatorship, but I'd certainly like to see Mugabe go the way of the Dodo bird. It will also be very difficult for the international community to ignore any "fixing" of the vote (or worse) if the MDC win by a large majority.


Daily Press Briefing Index
Tuesday June 20, 2000

Briefer: Richard Boucher, Spokesman

1-2 Elections
International Republican Institute Cancels Plans to Send a Delegation

DPB #62
TUESDAY, JUNE 20, 2000, 12:05 P.M.

QUESTION: Finishing up on a subject yesterday, the International Republican Institute has canceled its plans to send a delegation to Zimbabwe. Do you have a statement on that?

MR. BOUCHER: We've seen that report. I don't think - I don't know that we've been in touch with them since we've heard the announcement. But I do think it's important to say that we continue to believe that election monitoring is important in Zimbabwe. According to the Government of Zimbabwe, the word we got was that foreign non-governmental organizations are not going to receive accreditation to be election monitors and that only foreign government employees will receive accreditation. The reason for this distinction has not been made clear to us, and we're disappointed with that decision.

The deadline for observers to be accredited is June 22nd. We have urged - and we will continue to urge - the Government of Zimbabwe to accredit all foreign election observers, governmental and nongovernmental, before this June 22nd deadline.

QUESTION: That's all you're going to say: "We're disappointed"?

MR. BOUCHER: We're pushing. We continue to push.

QUESTION: I mean, if they're not allowed, what does that mean?

MR. BOUCHER: As I said, they've still got a couple more days when they can do this, and we continue to urge them to do it.

QUESTION: And if they don't?

MR. BOUCHER: Then we'll talk about it then.

QUESTION: Well, it doesn't seem very likely that they will. You still have some - do you have reason to believe that they're going to change their minds?

MR. BOUCHER: We are urging them to change their minds and to accredit these observers.

QUESTION: Do you have any reason to believe -- (inaudible) -- ?

MR. BOUCHER: We continue to push for it. I'll tell you when it happens, or if it doesn't happen.

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Brief list of helpful sites on the issue:
- Comprehensive news updates -- http://www.1freespace.com/beetee
- Offers of and requests for help for Zimbabweans -- http://pub9.ezboard.com/boffersofhelp
- Commercial Farmers' Union -- http://www.mweb.co.zw/cfu
- Movement for Democratic Change -- http://www.in2zw.com/mdc
- Zimbabwe Democracy Trust -- http://www.zimbabwedemocracytrust.org
- BSAP Pursuit of Zimbabwean Criminals -- http://www.bsaphq.f9.co.uk