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Zimbabwe Elections

Zimbabwe opposition MDC party drops Mugabe election victory challenge

Zimbabwe's opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, has dropped a legal challenge against President Robert Mugabe's re-election, saying the courts wouldn't be fair. Tsvangirai had previously called for a new election.

"The Prime Minister has withdrawn his election petition," Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) spokesman Douglas Mwonzora said Friday. "The main reason is that this trial law's going to be a mockery of justice."

Mugabe, 89, won Zimbabwe's July 31 election with 61 percent of the vote to Tsvangirai's 34 percent. Tsvangirai contested the results, alleging widespread vote-rigging and intimidation on the part of Mugabe's ZANU-PF party. He had filed a motion for the constitutional court to overturn the result and call fresh elections, with a hearing scheduled for Saturday.

The MDC said election organizers were blocking key documents needed in the case.

"It is extremely doubtful whether the MDC will receive a fair hearing," said Mwonzora, saying that the MDC party lacked the "crucial material" need to support its case.

Mugabe, who has been in power since Zimbawe gained independence from Britain in 1980, now looks set to be inaugurated for another five-year term.

Many Western government questioned the fairness of last month's election, however election observers from the region have said the polls were free and orderly.

dr/kms (AFP, Reuters)