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Tsvangirai cries foul of 'farce' election

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Old 01-08-2013, 03:34 PM   #1
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Zim Tsvangirai cries foul of 'farce' election

Harare - Zimbabwe's Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on Thursday cried foul of Wednesday's polls, saying it is a "farce" and does not reflect the will of the people, even though the electoral process was endorsed by observers from the southern African region.

Tsvangirai, presidential candidate from Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) party, said in a statement: "In our view, this election does not meet the SADC (Southern Africa Development Community), AU (Africa Union) and international standards for a credible, legitimate, free and fair election."

He said the credibility has been marred by administrative and legal violations, which affect the legitimacy of its outcome.

Tsvangirai is seen the most serious challenger to the country's veteran president Robert Mugabe's 33-year rule of the country. Tsvangirai's harsh criticism came as election officers are counting the votes from Wednesday's peaceful and orderly harmonized elections, which combine presidential, parliamentary, and local council votes.

But the prime minister's statement was slammed by the SADC Electoral Commission Forum, which sent a 25-men team to observe the elections.

The head of the team Notemba Tjipueja, also head of Namibian Electoral Commission, told a press briefing held shortly after Tsvangirai issued his statement that the organization's observers consider the elections credible even though there are some flaws.

Tjipueja also denied being approached by Tsvangirai over his concerns.

About 6.4 million Zimbabweans were registered to vote in Wednesday's general elections. Tsvangirai is fighting an uphill battle in his third attempt in a decade to unseat veteran leader President Robert Mugabe.

Mugabe led Zimbabwe since its independence in 1980 and his Zanu- PF party is confident of an overwhelming victory in the polls.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission says it will announce the results in five days. –
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