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Zimbabwean PM Warns Mugabe Against Rigging Elections


imbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai is seen during a meeting with President Robert Mugabe in Harare (file).

imbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai is seen during a meeting with President Robert Mugabe in Harare (file).

Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai Saturday said his party will not allow President Robert Mugabe to rig another election. The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party leader made the comment a few days after President Mugabe announced that Zimbabwe would hold elections to end the country’s coalition government next March. made his remarks as recent surveys show his party losing ground.

Addressing members of his MDC party supporters in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe’s second-largest city, Prime Minister Tsvangirai said he would win next year’s elections set for March. He dismissed recent surveys suggesting that support for his party is waning. “The MDC has never lost support. We must be strategic. ZANU-PF cannot steal another election and get away with it," he said.

ZANU-PF is the party of President Robert Mugabe, with whom Tsvangirai formed a coalition government in 2009 after the disputed 2008 election.

The unity government has stabilized Zimbabwe’s economy but both men have disagreed on a number of issues. Last week, the justice minister said a general election would be held next year. Tsvangirai says he will help move the economy forward.

“If you vote for us, our vision is to create a Zimbabwe that is able to respect people of Zimbabwe and make them prosperous. No longer are we going to have a culture of one-man rule who happens to be Robert Mugabe. We do not want to replace ZANU-PF with Tsvangirai. We want to replace Mugabe with a democratic MDC. Another pillar (if MDC wins election) is: we cannot talk of an economy which does not create jobs. Our economy must be once again a vibrant economy," he said.

MDC party spokesman Douglas Mwonzora said the election dates proposed by President Mugabe are not feasible. He also said his party would prove wrong surveys predicting that the MDC will lose. “Regarding surveys, yes, we take note of some of the things that were said in the survey. But what we know is that the people of Zimbabwe support the MDC. Today we have seen thousands and thousands of people that have come to White City Stadium... to listen to President Tsvangirai," he said.

Tsvangirai addressed his supporters for close to an hour in Bulawayo.

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