Zimbabwe opposition won't declare victory
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Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai refuses to declare victory: "Any speculation about deals, negotiations is not there because the results have not been announced." (Story: T. Grucza)
Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai declined Tuesday to declare himself the winner of a presidential election, saying he would wait until an announcement from the electoral commission.
"I am prepared to wait until as long as the ZEC (Zimbabwe Electoral Commission) confirms the results," Tsvangirai told a news conference in his first public appearance since Saturday's presidential and parliamentary elections.
However Tsvangirai said he and his party had been given a clear mandate for change in the poll.
"After the 29th of March,
"The vote we passed on Saturday was a vote for change, for a new beginning."
Tsvangirai's party has already said it is confident that he won the poll but the electoral commission, whose leadership is appointed by President Robert Mugabe, has yet to release any results from the presidential contest.
THE WEST CALLS FOR SWIFT RESULTS
World leaders Tuesday urged
"We want to see the presidential vote count be released as soon as possible," US State Department deputy spokesman Tom Casey told reporters in
"Delays in that vote counting and delays in the release of the results are troubling, certainly given all the problems that we noted prior to the election," he added.
So far the commission has announced only partial results from the parliamentary polls, putting the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) slightly ahead with 72 seats to Mugabe's ruling Zimbabwe African National Union - Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) on 68.
But despite pressure from foreign governments, there has been no official word on the battle for the presidency between 84-year-old Mugabe and MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai.
The opposition MDC is convinced Tsvangirai has beaten Mugabe and results from Saturday's contest for president are being kept back while he cooks up a plan to stay in power.
UN chief Ban Ki-moon urged there to be the "utmost transparency" in the vote-counting "so that the people of
Mugabe himself has not been seen in public since casting his ballot on Saturday fuelling speculation that he has already fled the country.
And the European Union's Slovenian presidency suggested Mugabe's days in power may be numbered.
"I hope he is on his way out, most Europeans think this way," Slovenian Foreign Minister Dimitrij Rupel, whose country holds the rotating presidency of the European Union, told journalists in
He warned the veteran leader against clinging on to power. "If Mr. Mugabe continues, it will be a coup d’état," he added.
Although the election process has largely been calm, there are fears that huge delays in announcing the results could spark the kind of violence that marred the aftermath of
"We don't want the situation to develop like in
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown also said Tuesday that the democratic rights of Zimbabwean voters must be respected as he urged the immediate publication of the results.
"It's absolutely critical that the elections are fair and are seen to be fair and I think the eyes of the world will be on Zimbabwe so that the doubts that people have, the questions that people have, can be answered," Brown said.
Mugabe has been
The elections come as
"We are asking the election commission of
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