International brief ~ Zimbabwe elections said to fall short of standards

[JURIST] In Friday's international brief, reports filtering out of Zimbabwe [government website] following Thursday's national elections indicate that the vote is being heavily criticized. Foreign media have been continually denied access to the country, and domestic media are required to operate under tight governmental control. Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai [party profile], president of the Movement for Democratic Change [official website], has alleged that massive fraud had been committed by the government to ensure ruling party Zanu PF [official website] candidates were elected. President Robert Mugabe, head of hte Zanu PF party, has dismissed the allegations as 'ridiculous'. The US, UK, and Germany have all called the election process 'flawed', and have been joined by many international observer and human rights groups in calling on Zimbabwe to open its election process to more complete international scrutiny. South African election observers in Zimbabwe said that the entire process, while relatively peaceful, was carefully manipulated to such an extent that it could not be considered a 'free and fair election.' MDC has an election results section on their website. The Zimbabwe Election Support Networka collection of domestic NGOs and human rights groups, has an election resource page. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Zimbabwe. Zim Online has an updating elections results page. South Africa's News 24 has local coverge.

In other international legal news ...

  • South Korea [government website] announced Thursday that it would block any attempt by Japan to become a permanent member of the UN Security Council as has been suggested in the recent reform proposals [JURIST report] for the United Nations. South Korea's Ambassador to the United Nations Kim Sam-hoon said that Japan had not done as much as Germany to atone for its World War II crimes, and was not worthy of a permanent seat on the Council. South Korea announced its intent to hold an unofficial meeting in May with other UN member-states to find ways to block Japan's resolution to become a permanent member, currently scheduled for submission in June. Read the official South Korea press release. Chosun Ilbo has local coverage.

  • The Royal Commission for Corruption Control in Nepal [government website] arrested three government officials Thursday on charges of receiving bribes and obtaining property in an illegal manner while in public office. The Commission, created by the Royal government [JURIST report, second story] following the February 1 state of emergency declaration, has the power to investigate, charge, and try any government officials it finds engaging in corruption in office. The Commission also questioned several dozen other members of of various government agencies in its ongoing investigations. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Nepal. Kantipur Online has local coverage.

  • Czech Prime Minister Stanislav Gross [official profile] survived a vote of no-confidence Friday in the Chamber of Deputies [government website] that would have required new national elections for Prime Minister. The vote was initiated by the Christian-Democrats party [official website] of the Czech Republic, which was upset about details released concerning Gross' financial affairs. Reports indicated that Gross accepted financial incentives from his family to pass favorable business laws, and that Gross was financially involved in a brothel run by his wife's business partner. Gross avoided being removed mainly because the Unreformed Communist Party [official website in Czech] refused to vote against him. The Prague Post has local coverage of the allegations leading to the no-confidence vote. BBC News has more.

 

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