He urged the military and President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration to promote and facilitate a transition to genuine democracy. Said Annan:
The only legitimate and sustainable way out of the Zimbabwe crisis is through elections with integrity in 2018. The political crisis in Zimbabwe is not yet resolved. The enthusiastic crowds who marched in the streets of Zimbabwe’s major cities … were demanding freedom, not just a change of leadership. I believe, nevertheless, that this crisis offers a unique opening for democratic renewal based on the freely expressed will of the people of Zimbabwe.
They must be a full partner in the resolution of this profound crisis. General elections in Zimbabwe are already scheduled for 2018. They present an historic opportunity for the voters of Zimbabwe to choose their leaders in a manner that confers full legitimacy on the winning candidate.