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South African President Says 'No Crisis' in Zimbabwe

South African President Thabo Mbeki says he does not believe Zimbabwe's presidential election deadlock constitutes a crisis.

Mr. Mbeki made the comments Saturday in the Zimbabwean capital, Harare, after he held talks with President Robert Mugabe on that country's political impasse.

The South African president again urged people to exercise patience and wait for results to be announced. Zimbabwe's electoral commission has not yet released official results from the presidential vote held two weeks ago.

Mr. Mbeki met with his Zimbabwean counterpart ahead of an emergency summit of the Southern African Development Community to discuss the crisis. The summit is now underway in Zambia.

Zimbabwean state media announced Friday that Mr. Mugabe is not taking part in the SADC conference, but a team of ministers is attending in his place. Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai is also attending the meeting.

Zimbabwe's main opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change, says its leader, Mr. Tsvangirai, defeated Mr. Mugabe and will not take part in a run-off election.

Independent tallies suggest Mr. Tsvangirai received more votes than the incumbent but a runoff will be needed because no one won more than 50 percent of the vote.

Speaking to reporters in the Zambian capital of Lusaka, an MDC leader, Tendai Biti, says Zimbabwe's military has essentially taken over the country, and he urges the SADC to speak out against Mr. Mugabe's "dictatorship."

A U.S. State Department spokesman, Sean McCormack, on Friday said SADC leaders should address what he called credible reports of government violence and intimidation against opposition supporters.

A Zimbabwean High Court judge, Tendai Uchena, has said he will rule Monday on an opposition appeal demanding the release of the poll's results.

The MDC is calling for a rally Sunday to protest the lack of election results. It is also calling for a general strike to begin on Tuesday.

Police announced a ban on rallies on Friday, saying it would take effect immediately.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.