Source:Xinhua Published: 2013-7-30 18:06:12
China hopes sincerely and whole-heartedly that a credible, transparent, and smooth election to be held in Zimbabwe, the head of Chinese election observers' team said Tuesday.
Mr. Liu Guijin, who leads a five-man observation team from Beijing, told a press conference in Harare that the Chinese government and people care "no less" than any people and governments about Zimbabwe's elections.
Mr. Liu, the former Chinese government special envoy on Africa affairs, said there were good indications for peaceful and credible elections based on the information the observers gathered on the ground.
Zimbabweans will go to polls on Wednesday to elect a president, 210 lawmakers, and nearly 2,000 local councilors. The country's veteran president Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai are considered most competitive to run for the presidency.
"Judging from the political wills of the parties and stakeholders, we have a lot of reasons to believe that Zimbabwe will have a smooth election without violence and avoid the phenomenon of the 2008 elections, and we have reasons to hope for the better," Liu said.
"China enjoys very good relations with Zimbabwe, so we are here at the invitation of the unity government to show good-will, solidarity, and support for the efforts for the elections," said Liu.
Liu has met the head of Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Rita Makarau and former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo who heads the African Union (AU) observers and exchanged views on the elections.
Liu said the upcoming elections could ba a milestone in the political and social developments in Zimbabwe and a transition period for the coalition government.
"We believe Zimbabwe has every condition to be much better-off than what it is today," he said.
Liu also said the election is not just of vital importance to Zimbabwe, but also important to the southern African region and China-Zimbabwe relations.
Liu said as China managed to maintain good bilateral relationship with the coalition government, the bilateral relations could only develop faster and more healthy after a credible, transparent, and peaceful election.
"It is in the interest of the people of the two countries to strengthen the bilateral relations," Liu said.