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France said Mugabe is nothing but a swindler and assassin

France condemned the 2008 presidential election run-off after Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai pulled out saying “whoever believes he is ordained by God and that God should keep him in his position is nothing but a swindler and an assassin, and that must be said with force”.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy said France would never accept any formulation that did not strictly conform to the will of Zimbabwe’s people who were not able to express themselves by the ballot box and in the framework of a free, just, open, and transparent vote.

Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said Tsvangirai threw in the towel because someone murdered a certain number of his supporters and above all officials of his party.

“It is, therefore, not a question for France to accept this false election that would finish up with one sole candidate. …It is truly the greatest denial of democracy that Africa has ever known.”

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 08PARIS1183, FRANCE ACCEPTS IN PRINCIPLE SEEKING A PRST ON

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

08PARIS1183

2008-06-23 16:57

2011-08-30 01:44

UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY

Embassy Paris

VZCZCXRO1266

OO RUEHAG RUEHBZ RUEHDF RUEHDU RUEHIK RUEHJO RUEHLZ RUEHMR RUEHRN

RUEHROV RUEHTRO

DE RUEHFR #1183/01 1751657

ZNR UUUUU ZZH

O 231657Z JUN 08

FM AMEMBASSY PARIS

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3517

INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES PRIORITY

RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY PRIORITY

RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

RUEHSB/AMEMBASSY HARARE PRIORITY 0458

RUEHOU/AMEMBASSY OUAGADOUGOU PRIORITY 1094

RUEHZP/AMEMBASSY PANAMA PRIORITY 0204

RUEHSJ/AMEMBASSY SAN JOSE PRIORITY 0245

RUEHVB/AMEMBASSY ZAGREB PRIORITY 0272

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 PARIS 001183

 

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

 

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: PREL PHUM KDEM UNSC FR ZI

SUBJECT: FRANCE ACCEPTS IN PRINCIPLE SEEKING A PRST ON

ZIMBABWE; SARKOZY, KOUCHNER BLAST MUGABE

 

REF: STATE 66915

 

1. (SBU) We passed reftel points to the French MFA early on

June 23, including to the AF and IO/UNP equivalents. DCM

subsequently raised the subject with French MFA Political

Affairs Director (P-equivalent) Gerard Araud. He stated

general French agreement with our points and general

assessment of the dire situation in Zimbabwe. With respect

to the UK draft of a PRST under discussion at the UNSC, Araud

unhesitatingly affirmed French support in principle for such

a move but indicated the GOF would want to consider the text

before deciding what it would do. As regards French public

statements about the situation, he encouraged us to check the

Internet for FM Kouchner’s public statements on the subject,

which are summarized below, but not yet available on the

French MFA website at www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en.

 

2. (U) Both French President Sarkozy and FM Kouchner,

together in Israel for a state visit, blasted the government

of Zimbabwe for its treatment of that country’s political

opposition. Sarkozy, in a statement issued June 22 by the

French presidency, accused the GOZ of having “deliberately

chosen the path of violence” to “gag” its people and prevent

Zimbabweans from expressing themselves at the ballot box. He

further condemned the “campaign of violent acts and serious

atrocities perpetrated by the regime of President Mugabe

against Mr. Tsvangirai, opposition supporters, and the

Zimbabwean people.” Sarkozy said these acts constitute a

“flagrant violation” of democracy and the rules set forth

under the AU and SADC charters. “France will never accept

any formulation that does not strictly conform to the will of

Zimbabwe’s people (,who are) not able to express themselves

by the ballot box and in the framework of a free, just, open,

and transparent vote,” the communique continued. “What will

take place Friday will not be responsive to this expectation.”

 

3. (U) In an interview June 22, Kouchner, was typically

much more blunt in his characterization of the situation in

Zimbabwe and of President Mugabe: “Whoever believes he is

ordained by God and that God should keep him in his position

is nothing but a swindler and an assassin, and that must be

said with force. (Tsvangirai) threw in the towel because

someone murdered a certain number of his supporters and above

all officials of his party. It is, therefore, not a question

for France to accept this false election, that would finish

up with one sole candidate. …It is truly the greatest

denial of democracy that Africa has ever know.

 

4. (U) The French MFA, on June 23, issued a more measured

statement through its spokesperson, who was asked at the

daily press briefing whether Mugabe had lost his legitimacy

following the decision by Tsvangirai to withdraw from the

presidential election. Following is the Embassy’s informal

translation of the text of the statement:

 

Begin text:

 

France respects the decision of Mr. Morgan Tsvangirai not to

stand for election in the second round of the Zimbabwean

presidential election. We hold the Zimbabwean authorities

responsible for this withdrawal, due to a climate of

deliberate violence, and deplore, as the Slovene presidency

of the European Union did yesterday, the grave atrocities

perpetrated by the regime of President Mugabe against Mr.

Tsvangirai and his supporters.

 

In the absence of Mr. Tsvangirai, the vote scheduled for June

27 does not meet the expectations of the international

community for a free, just, open, and transparent election.

 

As the Slovene presidency of the European Union Council said,

we wish to work together with the AU and SADC.

 

Concerning France, the President of the Republic indicated

that we must be ready to “take, with our EU partners, all

measures necessary against those responsible for what has

become an electoral masquerade.

 

End text.

 

Please visit Paris’ Classified Website at:

http://www.intelink.sgov.gov/wiki/Portal:Fran ce

 

 

PARIS 00001183 002 OF 002

 

 

STAPLETON

 

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