Emmerson Munangagwa, center, representative of President Robert Mugabe, consults with
his two assistants upon his arrival in Harare for the election verification process.

Tsvangirai Edges Out Mugabe But Runoff Looms

May 02, 2008 01:04 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
On Friday, Zimbabwe election officials said Morgan Tsvangirai beat Robert Mugabe in the presidential election but a runoff is still necessary, sparking anger from the opposition party.

30-Second Summary

Election officials in Zimbabwe determined on May 2 that opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai won the March 29 presidential elections, with 47.9 percent of the vote. However, as Tsvangirai did not gain a majority, a runoff will occur at an undetermined future date.

Opposition party Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has previously stated that it will not accept the results of the recount or accept a runoff vote against Mugabe.

The MDC has maintained since the March 29 elections that its leader, Tsvangirai, rightfully won the race for the presidency.

But Mugabe, who has run the country for 28 years, contests that claim.

In a report, Human Rights Watch said that Mugabe’s party, the ZANU-PF, “is using a network of informal detention centers to beat, torture, and intimidate opposition activists and ordinary Zimbabweans.”

On April 25, police in Zimbabwe raided MDC headquarters, arresting more than 300 opposition supporters who had taken refuge from violence.

Tendai Biti, the MDC’s secretary general, has said Zimbabwe now resembles a “war zone,” with thousands of people displaced and 10 killed in post-election violence.

And in a public statement U.K. Foreign Secretary David Miliband said on April 21 that Mugabe is trying to “steal the election.”

"Most worryingly, President Mugabe and his Zanu-PF party have unleashed a campaign of violence against those ordinary Zimbabweans, 60 percent of them, who in spite of everything, voted against him,” he said.

Headline Links: Runoff to occur

Background: The disputed election

Opinion & Analysis: Zimbabwe's future

Related Topics: Chinese arms and the question of Angola


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