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Mugabe Re-elected in Zimbabwe, Challenger Says Vote Rigged - 2002-03-13


Election officials in Zimbabwe say President Robert Mugabe has won re-election to a fifth term after a bitterly contested vote that has drawn broad international criticism.

Mr. Mugabe's main challenger, opposition Movement for Democratic Change candidate Morgan Tsvangirai, has rejected the results and accused the president's party of stuffing ballot boxes.

Mr. Tsvangirai did not indicate what his next move will be, saying only that he will not leave the Zimbabwean people.

Officials said Mr. Mugabe had won around 55 percent of the vote, to about 41 percent for Mr. Tsvangirai.

Western observers earlier condemned the election, which began Saturday and ended Monday, saying it was neither free nor fair. They say tens of thousands of voters in Harare were not able to vote, despite a one-day extention of the voting period.

Witnesses also complained of violence against opposition activists and long delays at polling stations in opposition strongholds.

The London-based human rights group, Amnesty International, also said Tuesday Zimbabwe's government was detaining 1,400 people in connection with the election.

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