In the face of international protest the government in Zimbabwe yesterday (27 June) went ahead with the second round of the presidential election. The opposition candidate Morgan Tsvangirai withdrew from the race last week in protest against the violence and intimidation to which the opposition had been subjected in the run-up to the second round.
Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier issued the following statement on the elections today in Berlin (28 June):
"A second round without a second candidate is a farce and cannot lend anyone legitimacy. The G8 Foreign Ministers and I were all of this opinion at our meeting in Kyoto. The scale of the violence and intimidation surrounding yesterday's election shows the depths to which Robert Mugabe has reduced his country.
The people in Zimbabwe urgently need a fresh political and economic start. I am convinced that this message will also be the one to emerge from the forthcoming AU Summit and believe that the neighbouring states in southern Africa in particular will use all means at their disposal to encourage a change in this direction.
I welcome the fact that the United Nations Security Council will next week discuss the measures it could take against the regime in Zimbabwe. We will consider what additional steps can be taken at EU level."