The United States, Britain, and other countries are denouncing
Zimbabwe's government, saying government-sponsored violence forced
opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai to withdraw from next Friday's
In Washington Sunday, the White House said
senseless acts of violence against the opposition by what it called the
Mugabe regime must stop. A statement said the U.S. is prepared to go to
the United Nations Security Council early in the week to explore
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the
circumstances that led to Mr. Tsvangirai's withdrawal do not bode well
for the future of democracy in Zimbabwe. The U.N. chief called for the
postponement of the election.
British Foreign Secretary David
Miliband said state-sponsored violence made the election impossible.
He also said the government cannot be held as a legitimate
representative of the Zimbabwean people.
In Brussels, Javier
Solana, the European Union's foreign policy chief, said Mr.
Tsvangirai's withdrawal was understandable and that the elections have
become "a travesty of democracy."
Zambian President Levy
Mwanawasa, the current chair of the Southern African Development
Community, says Friday's vote should be postponed because Zimbabwe has
failed to meet the regional bloc's election standards.
African President Thabo Mbeki, the SADC's chief mediator between Mr.
Mugabe and Mr. Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change, is urging
both sides to hold negotiations to resolve the crisis.
Mr. Tsvangirai blamed increasing violence against his supporters as the main reason he pulled out of the run-off.