EU mission notes flaws in Zimbabwe election

The European Union observer mission says "a truly level playing field was not achieved" in Zimbabwe's election as the country awaits the results of the presidential vote.

The EU mission points out the "misuse of state resources, instances of coercion and intimidation, partisan behavior by traditional leaders and overt bias in state media" but says Monday's election was largely peaceful in a break from the past.

The assessments of Western and other observers, many who returned to Zimbabwe after being barred for nearly two decades, are crucial in the possible lifting of international sanctions on this southern African nation.

The EU mission says this is a preliminary statement and more is expected on how the election results are handled and announced. This is the first vote in Zimbabwe since the fall of longtime leader Robert Mugabe.

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