At the New York Times, "Challenger to Zimbabwe’s President Says Election Was a ‘Huge Farce’":
HARARE, Zimbabwe — Morgan Tsvangirai, the challenger to Zimbabwe’s longtime president, Robert Mugabe, asserted Thursday that the country’s presidential election had been a “huge farce” and called upon international observers to investigate what he described as widespread irregularities.More at the link.
Senior leaders of Mr. Mugabe’s party, ZANU-PF, meanwhile, said they expected a huge victory, retaining the presidency and recapturing a majority of the Parliament.
“This victory is so sweet,” said Saviour Kasukuwere, a top minister in Mr. Mugabe’s party, who added he was handily re-elected to his parliamentary seat. He rejected the accusation that the vote had been manipulated.
“President Mugabe did not rig this election,” he said. “President Mugabe was voted overwhelmingly by the people of Zimbabwe.”
But Mr. Tsvangirai said the vote failed to meet “international standards for a credible, legitimate, free and fair election.”
The Zimbabwe Election Commission has not released official results in the presidential election, but from the tone of Mr. Tsvangirai’s statement, it appeared that his party, the Movement for Democratic Change, was headed for defeat.
“In our view, the outcome of this election is illegitimate,” Mr. Tsvangirai, 61, said in a statement. “But more importantly, the shoddy manner in which it has been conducted and the consequent illegitimacy of the result will plunge this country into a serious crisis.”
The vote, which took place Wednesday, was meant to resolve years of political crisis in Zimbabwe, ending an uneasy power-sharing agreement that put the ruling party and the opposition into government together.
PREVIOUSLY: "Zimbabwe Opposition Grows Bolder."