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Zimbabwe Bans Political Rallies; Opposition Calls for General Strike


Tension is rising in Zimbabwe, where authorities have banned all political rallies and the opposition is calling for a general strike to protest the lack of results from the presidential election. Police announced the ban on rallies (Friday), saying it would take effect immediately.

The opposition Movement for Democratic Change was planning a rally for Saturday. The MDC, meanwhile, has called for a general strike to begin on Tuesday, to demand that the electoral commission release the presidential election results. The MDC says its leader and candidate Morgan Tsvangirai defeated President Robert Mugabe in the election nearly two weeks ago.

The party says it won the election "hands down" (without doubt) and will not take part in a run-off. Both Mr. Mugabe and Mr. Tsvangirai were expected to attend an emergency meeting of southern African leaders to discuss Zimbabwe's political crisis. But state media said today that Mr. Mugabe will send three government ministers in his place.

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