Zimbabwe's main opposition party says it will consider pulling out of
the country's presidential runoff election, now one week away.
Chamisa, spokesman for the Movement for Democratic Change, told VOA
Studio 7 Zimbabwe Friday that party leaders will meet on Sunday to
discuss withdrawing from the poll.
The June 27 election pits MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai against Zimbabwe's longtime president, Robert Mugabe.
MDC says Mr. Mugabe's supporters are conducting a campaign of violence
and terror ahead of the vote in hopes of securing victory. The party
says more than 70 of its supporters have been killed.
Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos joined a growing number of
African leaders expressing doubts about the election and criticizing
the Mugabe government. Angolan state radio said Mr. dos Santos called
on Mr. Mugabe to stop "all acts of intimidation and violence."
president and his supporters reject the accusations. Friday, Zimbabwe's
police chief, Augustine Chihuri, said the MDC was what he termed the
"main culprit" in the violence.
Chihuri said police have
arrested 390 MDC supporters and 156 members of the ruling ZANU-PF party
since the initial presidential election March 29.
Friday, a Zimbabwean judge refused to order the release the MDC's
number two official, Tendai Biti, who has been charged with treason and
other offenses. He has been detained since June 12.
Brussels, the European Union threatened to issue new sanctions on those
deemed responsible for the pre-runoff violence. The EU already has a
travel ban on President Mugabe and members of his government who are
accused of human rights violations.
Speaking to reporters
afterward, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown condemned Mr. Mugabe's
government as a "criminal cabal" trying to steal the election.
Tsvangirai claimed victory in the initial presidential election on
March 29. However, official results showed him falling short of the
majority needed to avoid a runoff.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.