Mugabe’s Election Victory Challenged By Opposition

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The party of Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on Friday filed an appeal challenging last week’s re-election of the nation’s president.

Zimbabwe’s election commission had said President Robert Mugabe defeated Tsvangirai 61% to 34% in the presidential election, but Tsvangirai claimed the balloting was fraudulent.

The appeal, filed by Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change, asks that the election be declared void, and calls for a new election within 60 days.

Tsvangirai, 61, had called the balloting “a fraudulent and a stolen election” — and said he plans to mount a court challenge. The United States, the United Kingdom and Australia also called the July 31 vote into question.

Election observers and foreign officials raised doubts Saturday about the way the election was conducted, though some of them noted it was peaceful — in contrast to the last election, in 2008, where post-vote violence left at last 200 people dead and thousands injured.

Mugabe has been the only leader an independent Zimbabwe has ever known.

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