Zim opposition pulls out of presidential election

HARARE - Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party on Sunday pulled out of a presidential run-off election scheduled for Friday this week citing violence, intimidation and harassment of the party's leadership by President Mugabe's ruling ZANU PF party supporters and state security forces.

We in the MDC have resolved that we will no longer participate in this violent illegitimate sham of an election process, the MDC said in a statement on Sunday.The courageous people of this country and the people of the MDC have done everything humanely and democratically possible to deliver a new Zimbabwe under a new government.

We urge SADC, African Union and the United Nations to intervene urgently in this unprecedented situation to restore the rule of law, peace and conditions for a free and fair election, the MDC said.
Zimbabweans are scheduled to go to the polls on June 27 for a decisive run-off election pitting MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai and Mugabe after the former beat the 84-year old incumbent in a March 29 election but fell short of the margin required to take over the presidency.

Violence and intimidation of opposition supporters erupted soon after the March poll and has worsened as the run-off date approached with the opposition accusing the ruling party of carrying out a systematic campaign to force people not to support the opposition in the crucial run-off election.

The MDC says at least 70 of its members have been killed and another 25 000 displaced by the violence.
Mugabe denies authorising violence and instead accuses the MDC of carrying out violence in a bid to tarnish his name. – ZimOnline

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