US concerned about charges of vote-rigging in Zimbabwe



The United States voiced concern on Tuesday at charges of potential vote-rigging as Zimbabwe goes to the polls to elect a president.

Veteran President Robert Mugabe has pledged to step down if he loses the hotly-contested vote, but his rivals claimed they had evidence the president’s party was rigging the poll.

“The United States and our international partners continue to call for elections that are peaceful, transparent, and credible,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.

“We do remain concerned about the lack of transparency in electoral preparations bycontinued partisan behavior, by state security institutions, and by the technical and logistical issues hampering the administration of a credible and transparent election,” she stressed.

Psaki underscored US concern about “longstanding government restrictions on civil society organizations, independent media, political parties, and regular citizens that impede their right to operate free of harassment, detention, and intimidation.”

Among observers at the election will be five US embassy staff accredited by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.



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