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Zim Govt Blocks Carter Center Observers from Monitoring Elections

The Carter Center, a renowned international organization that observes elections around the world, has expressed its concern over the lack of accreditation for 30 of its 48 short-term observers for the Aug. 23 elections in Zimbabwe.

The Center said that this delay is unprecedented in its 30-plus years of observing elections and that it represents a severe and unwarranted obstruction to its impartial work.

The Center was invited by the Zimbabwean government to launch an election observation mission in late July. The mission is led by Attahiru Muhammadu Jega, former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission of Nigeria.

The Center’s observers are trained and experienced professionals who adhere to the 2005 Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation and the regional and international human rights obligations and standards for democratic elections, including the SADC Principles and Guidelines and the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance.

The Center requested that accreditation for its observers be given today, Aug. 22, so it can fulfil its mission to provide an impartial assessment of the election.

The Center also denounced the false and hostile comments about the Center and its work that continue to be published in local and regional media. These attacks endanger Carter Center observers.

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The Center urged Zimbabwean authorities to publicly reiterate its welcome of The Carter Center and ensure the safety of its observers and staff.

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Multi-award winning journalist/photojournalist with keen interests in politics, youth, child rights, women and development issues. Follow Lovejoy On Twitter @L_JayMut

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