Accessibility links

Zimbabwe Election Results Challenged - 2002-04-11

In Zimbabwe, the main opposition party is going to court Friday to challenge Robert Mugabe’s victory in the recent presidential election. The MDC, the Movement for Democratic Change, is bringing the legal case. Friday is the deadline for filing the challenge.

MDC candidate, Morgan Tsvangirai, lost to President Mugabe by a 56 to 42-percent margin. MDC Legal Affairs Secretary and shadow justice minister, David Coltart, says it’s important to challenge the election results on both political and legal grounds.

He says the party seeks to overturn the results, alleging incidents of violence, abductions and voter registration problems. However, Mr. Coltart says he is not confident in the judicial make-up of the court for there to be a fair trial on the issue. There’s no indication when the case will be heard.

Mr. Coltart spoke to English to Africa reporter Joe De Capua. (Click above to listen to the interview)

Mr. Mugabe was re-elected after 22 years in power in an election that was widely condemned as deeply flawed. As a result, Britain suspended Zimbabwe from the Commonwealth for a year. The United States and other independent observer groups have also said the March election was not free and fair.

This week, South Africa and Nigeria mediated talks between the government and opposition. They adjourned after two days, having agreed to an agenda and procedural rules for their next meeting, scheduled for May 13.