US embassy cable - 00HARARE3166

UN PULLS OUT OF ELECTION PROCESS; CONFUSION OVER ACCREDITATION REMAINS

Identifier: 00HARARE3166
Wikileaks: View 00HARARE3166 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Harare
Created: 2000-06-13 15:56:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PGOV PREL KDEM EAID PHUM ZI EU
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

131556Z Jun 00


                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ6312

PAGE 01        HARARE  03166  01 OF 02  131551Z 
ACTION AF-00    

INFO  LOG-00   NP-00    AID-00   ACQ-00   CIAE-00  SMEC-00  DODE-00  
      ANHR-00  SRPP-00  DS-00    EB-00    VC-00    H-01     TEDE-00  
      INR-00   IO-00    LAB-01   L-00     VCE-00   AC-01    NSAE-00  
      NSCE-00  OIC-02   OMB-01   OPIC-01  PA-00    PM-00    PRS-00   
      ACE-00   P-00     SP-00    STR-00   TRSE-00  USIE-00  R-00     
      IIP-00   PMB-00   DSCC-00  PRM-01   DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00  
      SAS-00     /010W
                  ------------------62517D  131552Z /38    
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6306
INFO SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 
ALL EUROPEAN UNION POST COLLECTIVE
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 003166 
 
SIPDIS 
 
AF FOR A/S RICE, P/DAS POWELL, AND DAS SCHNEIDMAN 
AF/S FOR A. RENDER, D. BOOTH, AND C. GURNEY 
NSC FOR GAYLE SMITH 
PASS USAID FOR A/AID RMCALL AND AFR/SA WJEFFERS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/01/10 
TAGS: PGOV, PREL, KDEM, EAID, PHUM, ZI, EU 
SUBJECT: UN PULLS OUT OF ELECTION PROCESS; CONFUSION OVER 
ACCREDITATION REMAINS 
 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 02        HARARE  03166  01 OF 02  131551Z 
REF: HARARE 3098 
 
CLASSIFIED BY EARL IRVING, DCM.  REASONS: 1.5 (B) AND (D). 
 
1.  (C)  SUMMARY:  THE UN ANNOUNCED AT A DONORS' MEETING 
JUNE 9 THAT IT WAS WITHDRAWING ITS ELECTORAL SUPPORT UNIT. 
THE UN CITED THREE REASONS: CHANGES IN ELECTORAL 
REGULATIONS GIVING A GOZ BODY CONTROL OVER ACCREDITATION 
FOR INTERNATIONAL OBSERVERS, WHICH THE UN HAD PLANNED TO 
COORDINATE; A NOTE VERBALE FROM THE GOVERNMENT ASKING THE 
UN TO FIELD AN OBSERVER MISSION, A ROLE IT SAYS IT HAD 
NEVER OFFERED OR EXPECTED TO PLAY; AND THE SLOWNESS OF 
DONORS TO PROVIDE FULL ASSISTANCE FOR THE UN MISSION.  THE 
WITHDRAWAL OF THE UN MISSION IN ITSELF IS NOT AN 
INSURMOUNTABLE PROBLEM FROM A LOGISTICAL POINT OF VIEW, 
SINCE THE EU HAS OFFERED TO PROVIDE LOGISTICAL SUPPORT TO 
SMALLER MISSIONS.  HOWEVER, THE OPPORTUNITY PROVIDED BY THE 
PROPOSED UN COORDINATING FRAMEWORK HAS BEEN SERIOUSLY 
COMPROMISED AS NO SINGLE DONOR CAN DO THIS FOR ALL THE TEN 
MISSIONS.  SPECIFICALLY, THE CIVIL SOCIETY-INTERNATIONAL 
ORGANIZATION INTERFACE, THE OPPORTUNITY FOR JOINT 
BRIEFINGS/DEBRIEFINGS, AND SHARING OF DRAFT STATEMENTS NOW 
WILL BE EXTREMELY DIFFICULT IF NOT IMPOSSIBLE TO 
ACCOMPLISH.  SOME INTERNATIONAL OBSERVERS BELIEVE, 
PLAUSIBLY IN OUR VIEW, THAT THE SUDDEN ISSUANCE OF THE 
ELECTION REGULATIONS, AND THE GOVERNMENT'S LACK OF CLARITY 
ON WHAT THEY MEAN IN PRACTICAL TERMS, REPRESENT A 
DELIBERATE EFFORT ON THE GOVERNMENT'S PART TO IMPEDE THE 
WORK OF INTERNATIONAL OBSERVERS.  IN OUR VIEW THE UN MADE 
THE RIGHT DECISION GIVEN THE TIMING OF THE AMENDMENTS TO 
THE ELECTION REGULATIONS AND THE GOZ'S CHANGED GOALPOST FOR 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 03        HARARE  03166  01 OF 02  131551Z 
THE UN ROLE.  END SUMMARY. 
 
2.  (C)  AT A DONORS' MEETING JUNE 9, UNDP RESREP CARLOS 
LOPES ANNOUNCED THAT THE UN ELECTORAL ASSISTANCE MISSION 
WAS PLANNING TO SHUT DOWN.  LOPES CITED THREE REASONS FOR 
THE MISSION'S WITHDRAWAL: 
 
1) NEW ELECTORAL REGULATIONS GAZETTED BY THE GOVERNMENT 
JUNE 7 HAD ASSIGNED TO THE ELECTION DIRECTORATE, AN INTER- 
MINISTERIAL GOZ BODY, RESPONSIBILITY FOR ACCREDITING 
ELECTION OBSERVERS (REFTEL).  THE UN HAD ANTICIPATED THAT 
IT WOULD COORDINATE THE ACCREDITATION OF OBSERVERS, SUBJECT 
TO APPROVAL BY THE ELECTION DIRECTORATE OR ANOTHER 
GOVERNMENT BODY. 
 
2) THE GOZ HAD, IN A JUNE 8 NOTE VERBALE, ASKED THE UN FOR 
THE FIRST TIME TO FIELD AN ELECTION OBSERVER MISSION -- A 
ROLE THAT THE UN SAYS IT HAD NEVER PLANNED, OR WANTED, TO 
PLAY.  DESPITE THE UN'S LONGSTANDING (SINCE DECEMBER) 
POSITION THAT IT WOULD NOT PLAY A FORMAL LEADERSHIP ROLE 
FOR THE INTERNATIONAL OBSERVERS (IO'S), DONORS HAD ASKED 
UNDP TO PLAY A COORDINATING ROLE AND TO NEGOTIATE A 
FRAMEWORK AGREEMENT WITH THE GOZ. 
 
3) DONORS WERE STILL SOME USD 55,000 SHORT OF THE USD 
400,000 BUDGET FOR THE ELECTION ASSISTANCE UNIT.  HOWEVER, 
IF THE UN HAD STAYED, THE FUNDING WOULD HAVE BEEN PROVIDED, 
SINCE THE JAPANESE GOVERNMENT DECIDED ON JUNE 9 THAT IT 
WOULD MEET ANY SHORTFALL. 
 
3.  (C)  LOPES TOLD THE DONORS THAT THE INSTRUCTION TO 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 04        HARARE  03166  01 OF 02  131551Z 
TERMINATE THE ELECTORAL SUPPORT OPERATION HAD COME DIRECTLY 
FROM THE UNSYG.  UNDP HAS BEEN INSTRUCTED BY NEW YORK NOT 
EVEN TO PLAY THE TYPE OF COORDINATION ROLE IT MIGHT HAVE 
PLAYED IN THE ABSENCE OF A UN ELECTION ASSISTANCE UNIT. 
HOWEVER, LOPES SAID THAT UNDP WILL, AS USUAL, STILL HOST 
PERIODIC INFORMAL INFORMATION MEETINGS OF DIPLOMATIC 
MISSIONS TO ASSESS THE POLITICAL SITUATION.  THE EUROPEAN 
UNION OBSERVER MISSION, WHICH HAS BY FAR THE LARGEST 
DELEGATION (APPROXIMATELY 150 MEMBERS), HAS VOLUNTEERED TO 
DO WHAT IT CAN TO FACILITATE COORDINATION AND TO PROVIDE 
LOGISTICAL ASSISTANCE TO SMALLER MISSIONS.  (NOTE: USAID 
HAS OFFERED TO UNDP TO SUPPORT THE COSTS OF A SHARED IO 
MISSION VENUE FOR MEETING AND COORDINATING DURING THE 
ACTUAL POLLING DAYS.  END NOTE.) 
 
4.  (C)  FOLLOWING THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE UN PULLOUT, 
INTERNATIONAL OBSERVER MISSIONS HAVE STRUGGLED TO COMPLY 
WITH NEW PROCEDURES FOR ACCREDITATION, WHICH ARE LENGTHY, 
CUMBERSOME, AND UNCLEAR.  THE TEAM FROM THE NATIONAL 
DEMOCRATIC INSTITUTE AND INTERNATIONAL REPUBLICAN INSTITUTE 
(NDI/IRI), WHICH UNLIKE OTHER MISSIONS IS NOT AN OFFICIAL 
GOVERNMENT DELEGATION, IS HAVING PROBLEMS BECAUSE OF ITS 
NON-GOVERNMENTAL STATUS (SEPTEL).  DOMESTIC OBSERVERS ALSO 
FACE NEW COMPLICATIONS.  ALTHOUGH, AS IN THE PAST, THEY ARE 
REQUIRED TO REGISTER THOUGH THE ELECTORAL SUPERVISORY 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ6313 
 
PAGE 01        HARARE  03166  02 OF 02  131552Z 
ACTION AF-00 
 
INFO  LOG-00   NP-00    AID-00   ACQ-00   CIAE-00  SMEC-00  DODE-00 
      ANHR-00  SRPP-00  DS-00    EB-00    VC-00    H-01     TEDE-00 
      INR-00   IO-00    LAB-01   L-00     VCE-00   AC-01    NSAE-00 
      NSCE-00  OIC-02   OMB-01   OPIC-01  PA-00    PM-00    PRS-00 
      ACE-00   P-00     SP-00    IRM-00   STR-00   TRSE-00  USIE-00 
      R-00     IIP-00   PMB-00   DSCC-00  PRM-01   DRL-02   G-00 
      NFAT-00  SAS-00     /010W 
                  ------------------625188  131552Z /38 
P 131556Z JUN 00 
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE 
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6307 
INFO SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY 
USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 
ALL EUROPEAN UNION POST COLLECTIVE 
 
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 02 HARARE 003166 
 
SIPDIS 
 
AF FOR A/S RICE, P/DAS POWELL, AND DAS SCHNEIDMAN 
AF/S FOR A. RENDER, D. BOOTH, AND C. GURNEY 
NSC FOR GAYLE SMITH 
PASS USAID FOR A/AID RMCALL AND AFR/SA WJEFFERS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/01/10 
TAGS: PGOV, PREL, KDEM, EAID, PHUM, ZI, EU 
SUBJECT: UN PULLS OUT OF ELECTION PROCESS; CONFUSION OVER 
ACCREDITATION REMAINS 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 02        HARARE  03166  02 OF 02  131552Z 
COMMISSION, A NEW STEP HAS BEEN ADDED TO THE PROCESS 
WHEREBY EACH OF THE 17,000 DOMESTIC OBSERVERS IS REQUIRED 
TO APPEAR IN PERSON AT THE OFFICE OF THE REGISTRAR 
GENERAL'S OFFICE IN HARARE FOR CREDENTIALS.  OBSERVER 
ORGANIZATIONS ARE STRUGGLING TO MOBILIZE THEIR MEMBERS TO 
COMPLY WITH THIS REQUIREMENT. 
 
5.  (C)  COMMENT:  EMBASSY DOES NOT BELIEVE THAT THE 
DEPARTURE OF THE UN ELECTORAL ASSISTANCE UNIT, IN ITSELF, 
WILL HAVE MUCH OF AN EFFECT ON THE OBSERVER MISSIONS FROM A 
LOGISTICAL POINT OF VIEW.  MANY OF THE MISSIONS, INCLUDING 
THE EU DELEGATION AND THE USAID-FUNDED IRI/NDI DELEGATION, 
HAD PLANNED ALL ALONG TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR OWN 
ADMINISTRATIVE ARRANGEMENTS RATHER THAN RELYING ON THE UN. 
IN ADDITION, THE UN MISSION HAD GOTTEN OFF TO A BAD START 
WITH DOMESTIC OBSERVERS, WHO WERE HIGHLY CRITICAL OF THE 
MISSION'S UNWILLINGNESS TO PRESS FOR A STRONGER ROLE FOR 
THE ELECTORAL SUPERVISORY COMMISSION IN THE OBSERVER 
ACCREDITATION PROCESS (REFTEL).  HOWEVER, THE OPPORTUNITY 
PROVIDED BY THE PROPOSED UN COORDINATING FRAMEWORK HAS BEEN 
SERIOUSLY COMPROMISED AS NO SINGLE DONOR CAN DO THIS FOR 
ALL THE IO MISSIONS.  SPECIFICALLY, THE CIVIL SOCIETY-IO 
INTERFACE, THE OPPORTUNITY FOR JOINT BRIEFINGS/DEBRIEFINGS, 
AND SHARING OF DRAFT STATEMENTS NOW WILL BE EXTREMELY 
DIFFICULT IF NOT IMPOSSIBLE TO ACCOMPLISH. 
 
6.  (C)  FURTHERMORE, THE GOZ'S LAST-MINUTE CHANGES HAVE 
BROADER IMPLICATIONS.  SOME OBSERVERS BELIEVE, PLAUSIBLY IN 
OUR VIEW, THAT THE GOVERNMENT'S SUDDEN INTRODUCTION OF THE 
NEW REGULATIONS, AND ITS SUBSEQUENT LACK OF CLARITY AS TO 
HOW OBSERVERS ARE TO COMPLY WITH THEM, REPRESENT A 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 03        HARARE  03166  02 OF 02  131552Z 
DELIBERATE ATTEMPT TO KEEP OBSERVERS FROM DOING AN 
EFFECTIVE JOB OF MONITORING THE POLITICAL SITUATION.  CIVIL 
SOCIETY CONTACTS BELIEVE THE GOZ'S GOAL, IN PART, WAS TO 
IMPEDE THE CHANCES OF A PERCEIVED UN-LED CONDEMNATION OF 
THE ELECTIONS AS NOT FREE AND FAIR.  THE GOZ'S ACTIONS HAVE 
FURTHER ENSURED THAT EACH MISSION WILL ISSUE ITS OWN, AND 
POSSIBLY LESS COORDINATED, STATEMENT ON THE PROCESS. 
 
7.  (C)  IN OUR VIEW THE UN MADE THE RIGHT DECISION GIVEN 
THE TIMING OF THE AMENDMENTS TO THE ELECTION REGULATIONS 
AND THE GOZ'S CHANGED GOALPOST FOR THE UN ROLE.  END 
COMMENT. 
 
MCDONALD 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
> 

Latest source of this page is cablebrowser-2, released 2011-10-04