Zimbabwe Vote Review Call Spurned
Zimbabwe Vote Review Call Spurned Website
Zimbabwe's main opposition leader has rejected calls by President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF party to re-check the presidential election results. Morgan Tsvangirai said such a move would be illegal and impractical. Eight days after the poll, the country's election commission has yet to announce the results. The High Court in Zimbabwe has said it will rule on Monday on an opposition petition demanding the immediate release of the poll results. A judge at the court in the capital in Harare said he would first consider an argument by the Zimbabwean Electoral Commission (ZEC) that his court did not have jurisdiction. Mr Tsvangirai, who leads the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), has claimed victory in the election and called on Mr Mugabe to step down to allow a peaceful handover of power. He has accused the 84-year-old ruler - in power since independence in 1980 - of plotting a campaign of violence to stay in office. Farms 'invaded' Zanu-PF called for a delay in declaring the results because of "errors and miscalculations" in their compilation. Mr Tsvangirai responded: "It's ridiculous and absurd to talk of a recount before you know what the result is. "What we know is that within 48 hours, you can ask for a recount at the voting station. In this case, the results have already been collected at all voting stations, so what kind of a recount are they talking about? "It will not only be illegal, but it will be totally impractical to do so." Information Minister Bright Matonga told the BBC the anomalies were to do with the collation of the election results - there was a discrepancy between the results put outside polling stations and the form sent to the ZEC. He insisted the request did not amount to a recount. Meanwhile, Zimbabwe's Commercial Farmers' Union said a number of white-owned farms had been briefly invaded by self-styled war veterans' groups loyal to Mr Mugabe in southern Masvingo. A spokesman said the situation was under control after police intervened to disperse them. The ZEC has declared the final results of last week's Senate election. It said Mr Mugabe's party had won 30 seats, with the combined opposition taking the same number. In the lower house, opposition parties took 109 seats, while Zanu-PF won just 97 - the first time it has failed to win a majority since independence. Mr Mugabe came to power 28 years ago on a wave of optimism. But in recent years Zimbabwe has been plagued by the world's highest inflation, as well as acute food and fuel shortages, which correspondents say have driven many voters to back the opposition.