Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Intervention in Zimbabwe?

A South African political leader is calling for African nations to send representatives to Zimbabwe to convince President Robert Mugabe to release the results of the election claimed by opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai. Jacob Zuma, the head of South Africa's African National Congress party, said the three-week delay in releasing the results was "not acceptable." "I don't think the constitution says: 'If you like, you can hold the results'," Zuma said Tuesday, according to the Reuters international news service. "The electoral commission must issue the results because it is actually destroying its own credibility as an institution that is supposed to be neutral." Tsvangirai, who leads Zimbabwe's main opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change, claims he won the presidential election and that Mugabe's 28-year presidency is over. Tsvangirai has been abroad since the election out of fear that he will be arrested if he returns to Zimbabwe. By calling for missions from the African Union and the Southern African Development Community to meet with Mugabe, Zuma has broken with South African President Thabo Mbeki, who favors "quiet diplomacy" to deal with the crisis. Mugabe's ruling party, ZANU-PF, lost its majority in parliament in the recent election, apparently because of the collapse of Zimbabwe's economy, but has called for a recount in an effort to hold onto power.

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