Flake, Coons Bill To Promote Free, Fair Elections & Political, Economic Reforms In Zimbabwe Passes Congress Ahead Of July 30 Election
Posted on Jul 26 2018
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives yesterday passed bipartisan legislation introduced by Sens. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Chris Coons (D-Del.), both members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, to lay the framework for U.S. relations with the Government of Zimbabwe. The bill updates the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001 and sets forth the steps Zimbabwe needs to take to have sanctions on its country lifted, including ensuring the country’s upcoming election on July 30, 2018 is free, fair, and credible. Flake and Coons led a bipartisan Congressional delegation to the Zimbabwean capital of Harare in April. Flake will return to Zimbabwe next week to serve as an official observer of the election.
“This measure outlines steps that will go a long way to demonstrate that Zimbabwe's government is earnest in its desire to bring about long-overdue change for the people of Zimbabwe, who suffered under authoritarian rule for far too long,” said Flake. “I look forward to returning to Zimbabwe ahead of what I hope to be a free and fair election, and I urge the Zimbabwean government to foster peaceful, democratic reform.”
“I’m thrilled that Congress passed this important piece of legislation, which reflects our sincere hope that Zimbabwe makes a transition to a peaceful, democratic, just, and prosperous nation,” said Coons. “A free, fair, and credible election is a necessary, but insufficient step to increased cooperation with the United States. Zimbabwe's leaders must also commit to a peaceful and constitutional transfer of power to reflect the will of the Zimbabwean people. We look forward to the fulfillment of the commitments President Mnangagwa has made to the people of Zimbabwe to pursue broader political and economic reform, and to deepen the partnership between the United States and Zimbabwe as sufficient progress is made on these necessary reforms.”
To view a PDF of the bill, click here.