EU pledges 2023 election observers

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THE European Union (EU) has called for peaceful, free and fair elections next year while expressing its readiness to send election observers to Zimbabwe for the 2023 general elections.

Addressing journalists after a closed-door meeting last Friday with Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda, EU special representative for human rights Eamon Gilmore said: "I have indicated to those that I have met; especially those in government that the EU is willing to deploy an election observation mission for the elections in 2023.

“We do, however, need to have an invitation from the State for that election observation mission. The indications that I have received during my visit are very positive that the invitation will be forthcoming.”

Gilmore added: “There should not be political violence during the run up to the elections, and after the elections. Elections should be conducted in a democratic way. Our intention will be to report to the 27 member States of the EU following this visit, and our hope is that we continue to follow up on the constructive discussions we have had.

"This is an opportunity, not just to have peaceful, free and fair elections, but to contribute to an improvement of the international reputation of Zimbabwe, which in turn will help to foster economic investment and trade. That obviously depends on Zimbabwe being seen to have high standards of human rights and democracy. We will work to ensure that we move in that right direction."

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