Archive for Saturday, May 17, 2008

Presidential showdown set for June 27

May 17, 2008


— Seven weeks after the presidential election, Zimbabwe finally set a runoff date Friday, saying longtime President Robert Mugabe and rival Morgan Tsvangirai will face off in a June 27 ballot that the opposition fears will be skewed by thuggery and fraud.

Opposition supporters have been beaten, killed and driven from their homes in a recent campaign of terror that observers say is meant to secure Mugabe's lock on power.

Tsvangirai had insisted Thursday that the runoff be held next week, amid fears further delay would mean even more violence, but he said after the election commission's announcement that he planned to compete in the ballot.

Tsvangirai, speaking to reporters on the sidelines of an international liberal party conference in Belfast, Northern Ireland, said setting the June date was illegal, but "we will contest."


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