There has been stinging international condemnation of Zimbabwe’s government after opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai quit the country’s election race. He has pulled out of this week’s presidential run-off poll, saying a free and fair vote is “impossible.”
“We in the MDC have resolved that we will no longer participate in this violent illegitimate sham of an election process. The courageous people of Zimbabwe, this country, and the people of the MDC, have done everything humanly and democratically possible to deliver a new Zimbabwe under a new government.”, he said.
There were ugly scenes on Sunday as an MDC rally in Harare came under attack. The opposition blames a youth militia loyal to President Robert Mugabe.
During the campaign, Tsvangirai says more than 80 MDC supporters have been killed. He has urged the UN and African Union to intervene to prevent a “genocide.” in Zimbabwe.
Robert Mugabe accuses his rivals of lying over claims of brutality. But the US says Zimbabwe’s government and what it calls “its thugs,” must stop the violence. The EU says the elections are a “travesty of democracy.”
The veteran President himself has vowed never to hand over power to the opposition, branding it a puppet of Britain and the US, in his political broadcasts on state-run TV.