Washington, DC – Lorne W. Craner, President of IRI, testified today before the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health, chaired by Donald M. Payne (D-NJ). Craner’s testimony focused on the challenges facing Zimbabwe and recommendations for how the U.S. government should continue to support pro-democracy activists in the country.
In his testimony, Craner recommended that:
- Donors consider monetary support and technical assistance to facilitate the constitutional review process and the structuring and depoliticization of the electoral commission;
- The international community continue to support the efforts of nongovernmental organizations and democratic activists who will hold the inclusive government accountable, and will ultimately be called upon to guarantee the legitimacy of the next elections;
- Pro-democratic parties be given the support they need to develop party structures to ensure their competitiveness in the next elections;
- Support be given to develop efficient local governments and help reform-oriented mayors and councilors develop the skills to ensure that all Zimbabweans, not just supporters of one political party, receive what they are due;
- The U.S. government be willing to engage with moderate elements and parties as they emerge;
- Donors work with any and all pro-democratic parties in developing and strengthening party structures;
- The Southern African Development Community (SADC) be a leading force in resolving the Zimbabwe crisis and any future impasse; and
SADC countries, and others on the continent, take a greater role in condemning violations of the Global Political Agreement, and pledge the financial assistance that the agreement requires.