The US government has called for a free, fair and peaceful vote ahead of Zimbabwe’s presidential and parliamentary elections. “The people of Zimbabwe deserve the chance to choose their future without fear of oppression or intimidation, in accordance with the Zimbabwean constitution,” said US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller. The United States called on the government and all political leaders to ensure that the election was conducted “without violence and coercion”.

The United States is concerned about the political violence in the run-up to the election and about laws that restrict human rights. In addition, the US government condemns the aggravation of working conditions for international journalists, it said. “While the US does not explicitly endorse any party or candidate, we support the democratic process and Zimbabwe’s efforts to fight corruption and promote the rule of law,” Miller said.

A new president will be elected in Zimbabwe today. The favorite is the 80-year-old incumbent Emmerson Mnangagwa, who has been criticized for patronizing the opposition. The most promising opposition candidate is Nelson Chamisa from the CCC party. He narrowly defeated Mnangagwa in the 2018 election.

The human rights organization Amnesty International has complained about a climate in the country “of systematic, brutal repression of human rights, including recent restrictions on opposition gatherings, the violent repression of protests and the criminalization of critics of the state”.