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Tsvangirai files appeal to challenge Mugabe poll win

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-08-09

Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangarai (pictured) has filed a legal challenge to Robert Mugabe’s election victory last week, asking for the result to be declared null and void and a new election to be called within 60 days.

Lawyers for Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai's party filed a court appeal Friday against the outcome of the so called ‘do or die’ election which gave veteran President Robert Mugabe another five-year term.

Tsvangirai's attorneys said they discovered that 870,000 names were duplicated on the voters' lists.

"We are going to submit good evidence'' of vote-buying, rigging and other irregularities, said Tsvangirai's party spokesman Douglas Mwonzora.

Attorney Chris Mhike told reporters outside the courthouse that Tsvangirai wants elections declared null and void and for fresh elections to be held in 60 days.

Mhike said the opposition has information to show there was rigging and other irregularities.

The Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) said over 750,000 urban voters were missing from the electoral list, in what they described as “a systematic effort to disenfranchise an estimated million voters.”

“A total of 99.97 percent of rural voters were registered while only 67.94 percent of urban voters were registered,” said Solomon Zwana, chairman of ZESN.

Rights groups say police forced some people they believed to be opposition supporters to feign illiteracy and seek the assistance of police officers or polling officials, with their votes going to Mugabe.

The country’s former finance minister, Simba Makoni who defected from Mugabe’s ZANU-PF in 2008, joined those voices rejecting the outcome.

“We reject the results announced by ZEC as not free, not fair, not credible and not legitimate,” said Makoni.

“These results do not reflect the expression of the free will of the people of Zimbabwe.”

Mugabe's supporters have scoffed at accusations of election fraud in the southern African nation.

The ZANU-PF and the MDC have been in an uneasy power-sharing coalition since 2009. 

 (FRANCE 24 with wires)

Date created : 2013-08-09

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