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Mbeki wanted internationally accepted elections

South African President Thabo Mbeki who was the chief negotiator in Zimbabwe was going to push for international observers in the 2008 elections because he was concerned about their credibility.  

He also wanted a new constitution before the elections which were scheduled for March.

The United States embassy was concerned about early elections because they did not give the Movement for Democratic Change time to organise.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 08HARARE26, MBEKI SEEKS FINAL AGREEMENT ON SADC TALKS

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Reference ID

Created

Classification

Origin

08HARARE26

2008-01-16 14:18

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO3821

RR RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0026 0161418

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

R 161418Z JAN 08

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2379

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 1720

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 1846

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0446

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 1123

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 1480

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 1902

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 4330

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

RUFOADA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 0973

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L HARARE 000026

 

SIPDIS

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR S. HILL,

ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU

ADDIS ABABA FOR ACSS

STATE PASS TO USAID FOR E. LOKEN AND L. DOBBINS

STATE PASS TO NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR B. PITTMAN

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/08/2013

TAGS: PREL PGOV ASEC ZI

SUBJECT: MBEKI SEEKS FINAL AGREEMENT ON SADC TALKS

 

REF: HARARE 16

 

Classified By: Pol/Econ Chief Glenn Warren. Reason: 1.4 (d)

 

1. (C) MDC sources have told us that South African president

Thabo Mbeki will travel to Harare Thursday to meet with

Robert Mugabe and attempt to conclude an agreement between

ZANU-PF and the MDC. Mbeki reportedly met personally with

ZANU-PF negotiators over the weekend in South Africa. The

most likely outcome, according to our sources, is a March

election and implementation of a new constitution before the

election. We also understand that Mbeki is concerned about

the credibility of the election and will push for

international observers.

 

2. (C) Comment: If in fact the agreement includes a March

election, it’s difficult to see what the MDC gains since

there will be scant time to organize and take advantage of

negotiated reforms. The MDC will still be facing a

manipulated delimitation of parliamentary constituencies and

a corrupt registration process. The MDC’s traditional civil

society allies demand broad consultation on constitutional

reform, so they are likely to scorn an agreement that imposes

a new constitution, whatever its merits. While the MDC may

see no option but to contest elections and may feel that it

will derive certain benefits from an agreement, an agreement

will also (at least partially) legitimize Mugabe in the event

of a ZANU-PF win. End Comment.

MCGEE

 

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