UK vows to push for fair Zim elections

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iol new spic cameron tsvangirai

AP

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron, right, meets Zimbabwe's Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai in his office at the House of Commons in London.

London - British Prime Minister David Cameron on Wednesday pledged to push the international community to insist on fair elections in Zimbabwe during a meeting with counterpart Morgan Tsvangirai.

The pair met at Britain's parliament and agreed it was essential for South Africa and other Southern African Development Community countries to lead the way in pushing for constitutional reforms which would ensure fair elections.

During a “warm and friendly” meeting, Cameron also praised Tsvangirai's attempts to bring about economic reform, a statement from Cameron's Downing Street office said.

The two leaders “discussed the prospects for holding elections in Zimbabwe at the right time” and “both agreed that the international community should insist on constitutional reforms before the elections”.

Cameron vowed Britain would fully support the efforts, but said it was “critical for South Africa” and neighbouring countries to take the lead.

“The Prime Minister re-stated how passionate he was about wanting Zimbabwe to succeed and commended the MDC (Tsvangirai's party) on progress made on the economy,” said the statement.

“Tsvangirai thanked the Prime Minister for British aid, which he said was being channelled directly to those who needed it most,” it added.

Elections are scheduled for 2013, but negotiations over a new constitution that would set out the rules for the vote have stalled on several points, including whether President Robert Mugabe, 88, should be allowed to run again.

Tsvangirai was in London for an African business summit. - Sapa-AFP


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