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Tsvangirai vacillated on results

The leader of the Movement for Democratic Change Morgan Tsvangirai told a press conference on 1 April 2008, three days after the polls , that he had received enough votes to avoid a runoff but avoided stating that he had won the elections.

He said he had exceeded the constitutional requirement to be elected president but said he would wait for the Zimbabwe Election Commission to announce the results and was prepared to wait as long as necessary for the ZEC to do so.

His secretary Tendai Biti said the party would announce its own results the following day.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 08HARARE259, SITUATION REPORT: TSVANGIRAI’S STATEMENT ON

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

08HARARE259

2008-04-02 06:16

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO0832

OO RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0259 0930616

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

O 020616Z APR 08

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2662

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 1863

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 1986

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0559

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 1263

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 1620

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 2042

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 4473

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 1113

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L HARARE 000259

 

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: 04/01/2018

TAGS: PREL PGOV ASEC ZI

SUBJECT: SITUATION REPORT: TSVANGIRAI’S STATEMENT ON

ELECTION

 

REF: HARARE 256 AND PREVIOUS

 

Classified By: Ambassador James D. McGee for reason 1.4 (d)

 

1. (U) MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai, making his first

public appearance since the March 29 election, addressed

diplomats and reporters the evening of April 1. In a

statement, Tsvangirai thanked the Zimbabwean people for their

efforts in going to the polls, spoke about the hardships they

had endured, and said Zimbabwe was on a precipice. He then

responded to a number of questions. He said the Zimbabwe

Election Commission (ZEC) had had sufficient time to announce

results, but also said the MDC was willing to wait as long as

necessary for the ZEC to certify and announce results. He

declined to confirm or deny whether the MDC had entered into

talks with president Robert Mugabe; he said the MDC would not

negotiate until the ZEC announced results. Tsvangirai

declined to say he had won but said he had exceeded the

constitutional requirement to be elected president. He then

said he had received a sufficient number of votes to avoid a

runoff. (Comment. Tsvangirai avoided stating he had won,

continously saying he awaited ZEC certification of returns,

to avoid possible legal complications. End Comment.)

 

2. (C) MDC secretary general Tendai Biti told us afterward,

that the ZEC had delayed counting in the presidential race

because it claimed it had not received election forms, signed

by electoral officials at all polling stations, containing

official results. He was mystified as to why the ZEC did not

yet have these forms. Biti also said that a number of MDC

polling agents in Mashonaland Central were refused admission

to polling stations. MDC agents had therefore not witnessed

the counting in these stations; Mashonaland Central therefore

could be a fertile area of voter fraud.

 

3. (SBU) Biti said the MDC would announce its polling

results on April 2 at 10 am.

 

4. (U) The situation remains calm in the city. There are

no expectations of violence during the night.

 

 

 

 

MCGEE

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