Zimbabwe election commission allows vote recount: Minister

April 10th, 2008 - 5:31 pm ICT by admin  

Johannesburg/Harare, April 10 (DPA) Zimbabwe’s election commission has accepted the recount of votes in five of the country’s election districts, South African radio quoted Zimbabwe Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa as saying. The Zanu-PF party of current President Robert Mugabe has been demanding a recount of the March 29 presidential vote and has challenged the party’s defeat in elections to the 210-seat House of Assembly (lower house of parliament), claiming the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) bribed voters.

Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai had preemptively claimed outright victory in the presidential elections - a claim Mugabe’s party rejects as “wishful thinking”.

Tsvangirai hinted Wednesday he was open to forming a unity government with elements of Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party, which was defeated by Tsvangirai’s MDC party in elections to the lower house of parliament.

Although official results of the presidential election have not been released, the Mugabe government rejected forming a government of national unity, saying only election results could direct the formation of government.

The High Court in Harare Wednesday deferred until Monday a decision in the MDC’s urgent application for a court order forcing the state-controlled Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to release the presidential results.

Tsvangirai says he took 50.3 percent of the vote but a non-profit election observation organization estimated that, based on a sample of the results, neither he nor Mugabe took more than the 50 percent plus one vote needed to avert a second round.

On Wednesday, Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa in his capacity as current chairman of the 14-nation Southern African Development Community called for an emergency meeting of southern African leaders to be held Saturday to discuss ways of resolving the post-election impasse in Zimbabwe.

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