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EU deploys election observer mission to Zimbabwe

The European Union has deployed a 54-member election observation mission to Zimbabwe to observe general elections set for July 30, the body announced on Sunday.High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini said in a statement that the mission’s core team, comprising 10 analysts, arrived in Harare on June 6 and “will stay in the country until the completion of the electoral process as well as preparing a comprehensive final report.”

The core team was joined by 44 long-term observers who would be deployed across the southern African country.

“A further 44 short-term observers will be deployed a few days prior to election day,” Mogherini said. 

The mission is headed by Elmar Brok, a member of the European Parliament.

According to Mogherini, a delegation of the European Parliament and diplomats from EU Member States accredited to Zimbabwe is expected to reinforce the mission on election day.

“This is a further demonstration of the European Union’s long-term commitment to support credible, transparent and inclusive elections worldwide,” the EU diplomat.

Brok said he was delighted to lead the first EU election observation mission to Zimbabwe in 16 years. 

The EU is among international organisations barred from observing Zimbabwe’s elections since 2002 by former president Robert Mugabe who accused them of  alleged bias in favour of the opposition.

Current Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa has however broken ranks with his predecessor and has invited the EU and other Western countries or organisations to observe the elections.

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