Monday, July 13, 2020

Post-electoral violence: UN chief speaks with Zimbabwe’s president, opposition leader

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UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, spoke by telephone with Zimbabwean President, Emmerson Mnangagwa and with Nelson Chamisa, the candidate of opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Alliance.

In his two calls, Guterres made clear that he counted on the President of Zimbabwe to ensure that the security forces show maximum restraint, according to Deputy Spokesperson, Farhan Haq.

The frontrunners in the July 30 presidential election were Mnangagwa from the ruling ZANU-PF party and his opponent, Chamisa, head of MDC Alliance.

The secretary-general also encouraged the opposition to pursue their electoral grievances through legal channels.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission declared Mnangagwa winner of the election after some delays, which some observers said created opportunities for citizens to speculate about the potential to manipulate results.

The UN chief added that any legal decision taken by the court on the election results would need to be independent.

The general elections had been largely peaceful and well-organised before violence broke out during a demonstration by supporters of MDC Alliance, alleging malpractices, leading to the killing of three people by security forces.

In his conversations, the UN chief stressed the UN’s continued support for Zimbabwe in the post-electoral period and his hope that all Zimbabweans would move forward in unity.

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