Zimbabwe Opposition Reluctant on Runoff

Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change party addresses a press conference in Harare, Saturday, April, 5, 2008. Armed police prevented opposition lawyers from entering Zimbabwe’s High Court on Saturday to lodge a suit for the immediate publication of delayed results of the presidential election. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)

Zimbabwe Opposition Reluctant on Runoff

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — Zimbabwe’s opposition leader on Saturday accused President Robert Mugabe of preparing a “war against the people” and said the party was reluctant to take part in a presidential runoff election.

Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai stopped short of threatening a boycott but said there was a mounting climate of fear.

“ZANU-PF is preparing a war against the people,” Tsvangirai told a news conference. “In the runoff, violence will be the weapon. It is therefore unfair and unreasonable for President Mugabe to call a runoff.”

On Friday, the ruling ZANU-PF party said Mugabe would fight to retain his 28-year grip on power in a runoff.

Tsvangirai’s party claims he won 50.3 percent of the vote in last weekend’s election, but official results have not been released. Independent projections show Tsvangirai won the most votes but not the 50 percent plus one needed for an outright victory.

Opposition officials said the party would launch a new court bid Sunday to force the commission to publish the results, after armed police prevented lawyers from entering the court on Saturday.

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