Zimbabwe presidential run-off date set

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Friday, May 16, 2008


The second round of the Zimbabwean presidential elections between incumbent Robert Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai has been set for June 27.

Cquote1.svg It is hereby notified that the Zimbabwe electoral commission with the approval of the minister of justice made the following notice: a poll shall be taken on Friday, June 27, 2008, for the purpose of electing a person to the office of president. Cquote2.svg

—Zimbabwean government

The date was announced in a government-run gazette, saying: "It is hereby notified that the Zimbabwe electoral commission with the approval of the minister of justice made the following notice: a poll shall be taken on Friday, June 27, 2008, for the purpose of electing a person to the office of president."

Although Mr. Tsvangirai says taking the poll on June 27 is illegal, the government has issued an emergency law, George Chiweshe, chairman of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission claiming that "some of the resources were depleted during the first election, so we need more time to prepare for the runoff." However Mr. Tsvangirai's party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), is worried that Mugabe, whose rule Tsvangirai called a "dictatorship" when speaking earlier in Belfast, will use the time to intimidate voters.

In the first round the MDC won 47.9% of votes against the incumbent Zanu-PF's 43.2%. President Mugabe, Zanu-PF's leader, has told his central committee today that the first round was "disastrous" and that "as leaders we all share the blame, from the national level to that of branch chairman."

Both leaders have fired criticisms at each other's parties, Mugabe saying the MDC and its supporters are "playing a very dangerous game" and are waging war in rural constituencies, Tsvangirai telling the BBC that "the people who have taken over are the military."


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