President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe with People's Republic of China Senior Military Commission Cheif Air Marshal Xu during a visit to Harare. The two countries have close ties going back decades., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Chinese observers dismiss MDC-T rigging claims
July 31, 2013
Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter
The Chinese election observer mission leader, Mr Liu Guijin, has described as baseless claims by the MDC-T that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission tampered with special voting ballot papers.Mr Liu, who was once Chinese ambassador to Zimbabwe in the 1990s and now leading a five-member team, said this during a press conference where the mission was giving their pre-election assessment report.
“We are not here to make judgment on the election. There have been some allegations and counter-allegations some of which are baseless. While some of them are small flaws, according to the brief we got from stakeholders like the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission and what we have read from newspapers about ballot papers abandoned in the dustbin, ZEC has made some good argument on that.
So, that is probably a kind of some baseless accusation against ZEC,” said Mr Liu, who is also China’s special representative to Africa.
Mr Liu said they commended ZEC for being able to organise elections within a short period given its financial position where it had limited resources.
“The country is having harmonised election where it is electing the President, Parliamentary representatives and local authorities, it is quite complicated. This needs a lot of logistics and financial support,” he said.
He commended political parties and other stakeholders for the peaceful environment that existed prior to the polls. “The atmosphere is peaceful and all stakeholders have been working on comparatively good foundation for peace, which is commendable and appreciable,” he said.
Mr Liu said the Chinese government would continue to maintain its good relations with Zimbabwe and work with a new Government to emerge from the election.