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Australia calls for re-run of Zimbabwe election

August 4, 2013

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia’s government on Sunday called for a re-run of Zimbabwe’s election, warning that Australia will not lift sanctions against the African country unless free and fair polls are held.

Zimbabwe’s electoral panel declared Saturday that longtime President Robert Mugabe had won re-election by a landslide in Wednesday’s poll. Mugabe’s chief rival and former coalition partner, Morgan Tsvangirai, has accused the 89-year-old leader of poll-rigging.

Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr said it appeared large numbers of people could not vote, casting doubts on the credibility of results.

“Given our doubts about the results, Australia calls for a re-run of the elections based on a verified and agreed voters roll,” he said in a statement.

Without a new election, Carr said Australia would not lift its remaining sanctions against Zimbabwe. The sanctions include travel bans and financial measures against 33 individuals and one entity.

Australia announced in May that all remaining sanctions against Zimbabwe would be lifted after free and fair elections were held and a democratically elected government took office.

Britain and the United States have also been strongly critical of the voting process.

The Australian Embassy in Harare contributed five observers to monitor the election.