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Last Updated: Saturday, 7 May, 2005, 19:14 GMT 20:14 UK
Zimbabwe TV slams UK poll 'fraud'
President Robert Mugabe
Mugabe has portrayed the UK as Zimbabwe's enemy
Zimbabwe state media have criticised the recent election in the United Kingdom, saying it involved fraud.

Zimbabwe Television's (ZTV) Friday evening bulletin spoke of "a lack of transparency, suppression of media freedoms and fraud" in the UK poll.

International observers have accused Zimbabwe of fraud and intimidation in elections in recent years.

President Robert Mugabe's campaigning has frequently singled out the UK and Prime Minister Tony Blair as enemies.

The ZTV report interviewed members of the public who said Britain had no right to tell African countries how to run democratic elections when the UK poll was characterised by lack of transparency.

Black boxes

Tony Blair returning to Downing Street
Blair won with a reduced majority
Similar allegations were made in the Saturday midday bulletins.

The reports identified the UK's use of black ballot boxes - as opposed to translucent ones used in Zimbabwe - and the use of postal voting as problem areas.

The conduct of the UK election "raises a lot of questions about the democracy preached by the British," ZTV reported.

Thursday's election in the UK secured a third successive term of office for Mr Blair's Labour Party, although with a smaller majority than in the previous two elections.

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