Ban Ki-moon calls for Zimbabwe elections to be postponed
Monday, June 23, 2008
Ban Ki-moon, the Secretary General of the United Nations, has said that the elections in Zimbabwe should be postponed due to the fact that Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), Zimbabwe's main opposition party, has said that he will pull out of the race to become the president of Zimbabwe.
Ban released a statement highlighting his concerns. "The Secretary-General deeply regrets that, despite the repeated appeals of the international community, the Government of Zimbabwe has failed to put in place the conditions necessary for free and fair run-off elections," he said.
"The circumstances that led to the withdrawal of opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai today from the presidential elections represents a deeply distressing development that does not bode well for the future of democracy in Zimbabwe. The campaign of violence and intimidation that has marred this election has done a great disservice to the people of the country and must end immediately," continued the Secretary general.
He finished by saying that "the Secretary-General has discussed the situation with various leaders, including those of the African Union and the Southern African Development Community (SADC). He strongly supports the statement of the Chairman of SADC that conditions do not exist for a run-off election to be held at this time and that they should be postponed."
This move by Ban Ki-moon comes after Morgan Tsvangirai called for the international community to intervene to improve the situation in Zimbabwe.
- "UN chief urges Harare poll delay" — BBC News Online, June 23, 2008
- Press Release: "Opposition withdrawal from Zimbabwe election ‘deeply distressing' development, Says Secretary-General, expressing strong support for postponement of run-off" — United Nations, June 23, 2008
- "Mugabe rival quits election race" — BBC News Online, June 22, 2008