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Zimbabwe High Court Sets Date to Hear Opposition Claims - 2003-07-18

After a long delay, the Zimbabwe High Court has announced the date it will hear the opposition's challenge of the results of last year's presidential election.

In a statement Thursday, the opposition's Secretary for Legal Affairs, David Coltart, said the initial hearing will last five days. He said the opposition will present evidence of what the party calls serious legal irregularities surrounding the presidential election in March of last year, including numerous acts of violence against opposition supporters.

In his statement, Mr. Coltart charges that key government agencies have not disclosed all relevant documents, as the court has ordered. The agencies are the Registrar General of Elections, the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs and the Electoral Supervisory Commission.

The Registrar-General and the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs have recently asked the High Court to remove them from the case. The High Court will hold a hearing on that application on July 29.

The opposition Movement for Democratic Change has refused to accept the re-election of President Mugabe. The president's ruling ZANU-PF party pulled out of talks to end the political dispute last year.

Mr. Mugabe has insisted that the MDC withdraws its petition and accept the election result before talks can resume on Zimbabwe's political future.