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Daily Archives: January 15, 2008

UNESCO clears Guia construction

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The Guia Lighthouse construction controversy, according to

the World Heritage Experts Commission, was not a negative incident

but a big new topic for the preservation work of Macau.

Zimbabwe to keep out biased election observers

Zimbabwe will prohibit foreign observers deemed to be biased from overseeing its upcoming presidential and legislative elections, Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa said yesterday."Our stance on foreign observers is that they are not a legal requirement," Chinamasa was quoted as saying by the state-controlled Herald newspaper, as Zimbabwe prepares for the polls which are expected before the end of March."We do not have to allow people to come here to legitimise or delegitimise our electoral processes and outcomes as a means of furthering their interests," he said."Hence we will not entertain anyone or any institution that does not have an open mind."Both the European Union and the Commonwealth denounced as flawed the last presidential election in 2002 that saw Robert Mugabe win a new term in office, while an African Union observer mission gave the vote a clean bill of health.EU monitors were meanwhile barred from the last parliamentary elections in 2005, although teams from so-called "friendly countries" — mainly from Africa but also including Russia — were allowed in.Chinamasa said that the idea of Westerners monitoring elections in Africa was in part a means of defending their interests in their former colonies."The western world largely came up with this (monitoring) as a reaction to the decolonisation process … as a means of safeguarding their own interests," he said.He cited Kenya as an examply, saying that some foreign observers had backtracked on their earlier declarations that elections there in December had been free and fair.Some observers only served to "sow the seeds of confusion, disunity and ultimately bloodshed," Chinamasa added.The 2002 elections led the European Union and the United States to impose a series of sanctions against Mugabe and his inner circle, while criticism of its democratic record prompted Zimbabwe to pull out of the Commonwealth.Mugabe has yet to name the date of the election which should take place before the end of March.

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