Mugabe sworn in as president (Lead)

June 29th, 2008 - 11:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Harare, June 29 (DPA) Incumbent Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe was sworn as president for another five years Sunday at a ceremony in Harare after sweeping the polls in a go-it-alone presidential election run-off. The BBC reported that Mugabe had been hastily sworn in after the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) released the results.

Mugabe took 2,150,269 votes, against 233,000 for opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Morgan Tsvangirai who had urged people not to vote for him after deciding to boycott the poll.

A further 131,481 ballots were spoilt while voter turnout of 42.37 percent was akin to that of the first round of voting in March.

African election observers and human rights activists had, however, reported many voters were intimidated into turning out to vote by pro-Mugabe youth militia and soldiers.

The high number of spoilt ballots reflected the frustration of many voters are being forced to take place in a vote slammed by the opposition and the West as a sham.

Tsvangirai withdrew from the run-off vote last week, citing fears for the safety of his supporters, 86 of whom have been killed since he defeated Mugabe in the first round of the presidential elections in March.

The MDC has urged Zimbabwe’s African neighbours, whose leaders are meeting in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, Monday not to recognise the vote outcome.

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