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Mugabe, Tsvangirai Both to Attend Summit on Zimbabwe Election Crisis

By VOA News
10 April 2008

Spokesmen for Zimbabwe's president and opposition leader say both men will attend an emergency summit of southern African leaders intended to address the political crisis in Zimbabwe.

The country's deputy information minister Bright Matonga said Thursday that President Robert Mugabe will brief regional leaders at Saturday's meeting of the South African Development Community.

Officials with the opposition Movement for Democratic Change say their leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, also plans to be present.

The MDC says Mr. Tsvanigrai won the March 29 presidential election. Zimbabwe's electoral commission has yet to release any results, fueling fears that Mr. Mugabe is trying to hang onto power.

Thursday, the U.S. magazine Time published an interview with Mr. Tsvangirai in which he accused Zimbabwe's military leaders of pulling a de facto coup for Mr. Mugabe.

He said troops have been deployed nationwide to prepare for a run-off vote and to intimidate the population. But he also predicted that his party will eventually get the president to relinquish power.

Meanwhile, President Bush has renewed Washington's call for a release of the presidential election results. A U.S. national security official says Mr. Bush made the comment Thursday during a phone call with African Union President Jakaya Kikiwete, the president of Tanzania.

A Zimbabwean High Court judge has said he will rule Monday on an opposition appeal demanding the release of the results.

The Movement for Democratic Change says Mr. Tsvangirai captured enough votes to win the election outright, handing Mr. Mugabe his first defeat since he took power in 1980.

However, independent monitors say Mr. Tsvangirai may have fallen just short of a majority, necessitating a run-off. The ruling ZANU PF party is demanding a second-round vote.




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