BRUSSELS – The European Union says it stands ready to send election monitors to Zimbabwe and hopes that free and fair polls can be held soon.
EU foreign ministers said in a statement Monday that "the upcoming electoral process will be an essential step" in helping to re-establish the rule of law in Zimbabwe.
They said "the EU would consider favorably electoral observation" under certain conditions and if Zimbabwe invites the monitors.
The ministers signaled that the EU could upgrade its ties with Zimbabwe if the country restores law and order and undertakes credible reforms.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa says elections will be held in May or June. He is under pressure to deliver a credible vote to cement his legitimacy after taking power with military help in November from longtime ruler Robert Mugabe.