Mbeki urges Zimbabweans to accept poll outcome

April 6th, 2008 - 7:59 pm ICT by admin  

Pretoria, April 6 (IANS) South African President Thabo Mbeki has urged all Zimbabweans to accept and honour the outcome of the presidential elections as the verdict of the people, BuaNews reported Sunday. “We are waiting for the announcement of the results by the Zimbabwean Electoral Commission (ZEC) and hope everybody would accept the results,” Mbeki said Thursday.

The South African president made these remarks at a press conference following the conclusion of the 5th session of the South Africa - Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Bi-National Commission. Congolese President Joseph Kabila was also present at the press meet.

Mbeki said the Southern African Development Community (SADC) had approached him in March 2007, to facilitate talks between Zimbabwe’s ruling Zanu-PF and the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

In that meeting, both political parties had agreed to hold the presidential election in 2008, he said, adding, the election results must not be contested, as it had happened in the past.

The MDC and international poll observers have alleged vote rigging in the last week vote.

The opposition MDC has claimed its presidential candidate Morgan Tsvangirai has defeated the incumbent Robert Mugabe, which has been disputed by the ruling Zanu-PF of Mugabe.

According to the electoral commission, the opposition MDC won majority in the House of Assembly, ending Zanu-PF’s 28-year hold on the assembly.

However, the presidential election results were still to be officially declared.

Mbeki said he received a telephone call Wednesday from Tsvangirai informing him that his party has won the presidential race.

“Yesterday, I had a discussion with Tsvangirai who called me to say about his election victory, and also that the country’s election commission was ready for a second round of elections,” he said.

Tsvangirai Saturday warned the people of a state-sponsored “war” against the people in the event of a runoff presidential vote against President Robert Mugabe.

Addressing a press conference in Harare Tsvangirai also reiterated his party’s claims that he had won last weekend’s election polling more than 50 percent votes precluding the need for a second round .

But the MDC leader also said he would only take a decision on whether to contest a runoff after the official results had been released.

Mugabe, on the other hand, appears to be already gearing up for a second round after his party Friday pledged its support for his bid to extend his 28-year rule by going to a runoff, if called.

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