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Official Says Mugabe Would Accept Defeat


An ally of Robert Mugabe says the Zimbabwean president would accept defeat if he loses next month's run-off election to opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

The state-run Herald newspaper Monday, quotes Mr. Mugabe's chief election agent, Emmerson Mnangagwa, as saying if the president loses, he will go on national television to acknowledge the result.

But Mnangagwa said the president and his party are very confident of victory.

Mr. Mugabe has led Zimbabwe since the country won independence from Britain in 1980. Mr. Tsvangirai defeated him in the first-round election March 29 but fell short of the majority needed to avoid a runoff.

Mr. Tsvangirai's party, the Movement for Democratic Change, says Mugabe supporters are trying to terrorize opposition activists ahead of the June 27 election. The party says more than 40 of its supporters have been killed in recent weeks.

In a campaign appearance Sunday, Mr. Mugabe accused the MDC of carrying out attacks.

He also threatened to expel U.S. ambassador James McGee, who he said was meddling in Zimbabwe's electoral process.

McGee and other diplomats had a standoff with police earlier this month when they visited hospitals treating victims of the post-election violence. He has accused ZANU-PF party of systematically attacking supporters of the opposition.

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