HARARE: The European Union representatives have issued  a joint statement following the Zimbabwe Constitutional Court ruling that declared Emmerson Mnangagwa as winner of 2018 presidential elections.

The delegation has called for “calm and restraint in both victory and defeat” after the Constitutional Court on Friday threw out an election challenge to President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s election by the MDC Alliance’s Nelson Chamisa.

“It is important that everyone respects the constitution and the rule of law. Acknowledging the verdict of Zimbabwe’s highest court, all stakeholders should call for calm and restraint in both victory and defeat,” the EU mission – representing the ambassadors of France, Greece, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom – said in a statement.

The EU noted increased politically motivated human rights violations including acts of post-election retribution, which it described as “unacceptable”.

The EU said there was an urgent need to address Zimbabwe’s electoral framework through “inclusive” and “substantive discussions” which should begin immediately.