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Bush Says Zimbabwe Voted for Change


President Bush says Zimbabwe's voters have spoken and want a change from the leadership of President Robert Mugabe. VOA's Michael Bowman reports from the White House, where Mr. Bush spoke at a news conference.

Official results from Zimbabwe's March 29 presidential election have yet to be finalized, but President Bush weighed in on what he believes the outcome to be. "It is clear that they voted for change, as they should have, because Mr. Mugabe has failed the country," he said.

Speaking from the White House Rose Garden, Mr. Bush said President Mugabe has transformed Zimbabwe from a productive exporter of food to a country wracked by what he termed "terrible human conditions."

Mr. Bush said the will of Zimbabwe's people must be respected, and that the country's neighbors have a vital role to play. "It is really incumbent upon the nations in the neighborhood to step up and lead, and recognize that the will of the people [of Zimbabwe] must be respected. And recognize that that will came about because they are tired of failed leadership," he said.

Zimbabwe's opposition won control of parliament in last month's vote and claims to have won the presidential vote, as well. Zimbabwe's electoral commission says it may release presidential results this week.

The United Nations Security Council met behind closed doors Tuesday to discuss the situation.

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