ZANU-PF Demands Recount Before Results Are Released
Zimbabwe's embattled ruling party is demanding that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) recount the votes from last week's election, contending that alleged counting errors would rob their leader, Robert Mugabe, of election victory. However, the result of the poll has not been released yet, so it is unclear how ZANU-PF would know about such errors.
President Robert Mugabe's rulingparty wants votes from Zimbabwe's presidential poll talliedagain because of alleged errors, the state-controlled SundayMail reported. The opposition said the request is illegal.
A High Court judge today postponed a decision after ahearing on an application by the opposition Movement forDemocratic Change for an immediate release of March 29 electionresults. The MDC says vote counts posted at individual pollingstations show that its candidate, Morgan Tsvangirai, won a clearmajority. Mugabe's backers have said none of the challengers wona majority in the presidential election and a second round willbe necessary.
ZANU PF on Friday endorsed Mugabe to face Tsvangirai in a second round run-off, amid worrying signs the ruling party might resort to intimidation and violence to stay in power.
War veterans, who are hardliner supporters of Mugabe, on Friday threatened violence against the MDC if the opposition party insisted on claiming victory in the presidential election before official results are out.
Mugabe has relied on the veterans of Zimbabwe’s 1970s independence war to intimidate opponents.
And police last Thursday raided a hotel used by MDC officials and ransacked some of the rooms. Riot police also surrounded another hotel housing foreign journalists and took away several of them.
Political analysts say Tsvangirai could easily beat Mugabe in a run-off between the two but warn that the three-week hiatus before a new vote could spark serious violence between security forces and militia loyal to the Zimbabwean leader on one side and opposition MDC supporters on the other.
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Also read Zimbabwe: A Return to Grace (letter to the parties) and Zimbabwe and Mugabe: A Personal Reflection