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Zimbabwe Court Rejects Opposition Demand for Election Results

  • VOA News

Zimbabwe's High Court has rejected an opposition demand that it order the release of results from last month's presidential election.

The Movement for Democratic Change party had petitioned the court to make Zimbabwe's electoral commission release the tally immediately.

But in his ruling on Monday, Judge Tendai Uchena accepted the electoral commission's argument that it is still investigating anomalies in some of the voting districts.

After the ruling, MDC officials called for a nationwide strike they said would begin on Tuesday and continue until the election results are released.

The MDC says its leader and candidate Morgan Tsvangirai defeated longtime President Robert Mugabe in the March 29th vote. The MDC says the government is holding back the results so the ruling ZANU-PF party can orchestrate a run-off and victory for Mr. Mugabe.

Independent monitors say Mr. Tsvangirai likely finished on top in the election but may have fallen short of the majority needed to avoid a second round.

The MDC and human rights groups have accused ZANU-PF of organizing militias to intimidate opposition supporters ahead of the possible run-off. The MDC said today one of its members was stabbed to death by ZANU-PF supporters in a northwestern rural area.

Zimbabwe's electoral commission has said it is still verifying the votes from the March election.

The commission confirmed today that it will go ahead with a recount of presidential and parliamentary results in 23 voting districts, regardless of any court procedures. The MDC has filed a court challenge seeking to stop the recount.

The opposition party gained control of the key lower house of parliament in last month's vote -- a rare victory in a country where Mr. Mugabe has kept a tight grip on power for 28 years.
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