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Zimbabwe Opposition Says It’s Ready to Win Possible Election Run-Off

Zimbabwe’s main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) led by Morgan Tsvangirai says it is prepared to defeat incumbent President Robert Mugabe in a possible election run-off. The opposition party says although election results so far released indicate it is ahead of the ruling ZANU-PF party, it fears the rest of the results could be rigged in favor of President Mugabe.

The latest presidential results released by Zimbabwe’s Electoral Commission (ZEC) put the MDC in first place, 49 percent to 42 percent for ZANU-PF, and independent presidential candidate Simba Makoni following at a distant third with about 8 percent.

From the capital, Harare, MDC spokesman Tendai Biti tells reporter Peter Clottey that he believes the opposition will win any possible run-off.

“As far as we are concerned from the collection and coalition of results we ourselves have gathered, we have won 55 percent of the votes after the 210 seats are counted. That means that there wouldn’t be a run-off. But however, election results are still coming in and results are being doctored, particularly in Mashonaland central, so there is a possibility of the election being rigged. But even if it’s rigged I think the worst-case scenario is a run-off,” Biti pointed out.

He said the opposition party is ready to defeat incumbent Mugabe under any circumstances.

“We took him on last weekend, and we beat him. So we will beat him in the air, we will beat him in the water. We will beat him in the sea, we will beat in the bed, and we will beat him in the sky,” he said.

Biti said the MDC would welcome with open arms any of the other opposition parties ahead of a possible run-off to present a united front against the ruling ZANU-PF party.

“The fact of the matter is everyone who stood against Mugabe, any party other than the ZANU-PF, stands for change and democracy in Zimbabwe. So I can’t see any reason why people should not get together to fight Robert Mugabe. The number one problem in Zimbabwe is Robert Mugabe and the system that he has created. We are tired of it. There are no jobs. There is no food. People are dying, and people are hungry,” Biti noted.

He said it is true that President Mugabe will not hand over power to the opposition easily.

“That is very correct. He has not handed power easily over the last 28 years. He was beaten in 2002, and he was beaten in 2005. Right now the election took place on Saturday. It is now Wednesday, and he has not announced the results. So, yes, he is a dictator, and he will not hand over power easily. That is a fact,” he said.

Biti said the opposition party aims to rebuild the country and to restore its political and economic clout in the South Africa sub-region.

“The aim of the MDC is to rehabilitate our country, and to give jobs and to provide for the people and to bring back respect to our people,” Biti said.

Meanwhile, the leader of the MDC, Morgan Tsvangirai, and the Mugabe government are reportedly denying speculation that they were in talks to arrange Mugabe’s resignation after last weekend's election.