Questions remain over Robert Mugabe's win

Aug. 23, 2013 at 11:03 AM

LONDON, Aug. 23 (UPI) -- The British government said an independent investigation is needed to assess the credibility of Zimbabwe's presidential elections handing Robert Mugabe a win.

The British government said last weekend it was calling on its South African counterparts to take a close look at electoral irregularities in recent elections in Zimbabwe.

Election officials said the majority of the voters who took part in an early August election cast their ballots in favor of Robert Mugabe, in office since the 1980s.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague said Thursday he had lingering questions over the contest after a court dismissed a challenge to Mugabe's victory filed by challenger and outgoing Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

"I strongly believe that an independent investigation of any allegations of election irregularities would be required for the election result to be deemed credible," he said in a statement. "There is strong evidence that these elections fell short of SADC's own guidelines and the Zimbabwean electoral law."

Malawi hosts a weekend summit for members of the South African Development Community. London said the regional bloc should take a close look at the political environment in Zimbabwe during their meeting.

The European Union said this week it was reviewing its relationship with Zimbabwe after Mugabe's victory.

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