The United States and other western nations are condemning Zimbabwe's presidential election, saying the re-election of President Robert Mugabe is not legitimate.
U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell in a statement read by spokesman Richard Boucher, said Mr. Mugabe can claim victory, but not democratic legitimacy. Mr. Powell said the outcome of the election did not reflect the will of Zimbabwe's people because of a government-orchestrated campaign of violence and intimidation and numerous irregularities.
U.S. officials say Washington is considering further sanctions against the Mugabe government, including the possibility of freezing the assets of certain individuals.
Britain, Zimbabwe's former colonial power, also condemned what it called a systematic campaign of repression by the Mugabe government. Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said Britain would consult with the United States, the European Union, and the Commonwealth to determine what action to take towards Zimbabwe.
Election officials in Zimbabwe say President Mugabe won re-election with about 55 percent of the vote - to maintain his 22-year grip on power.
President Mugabe's main challenger, Morgan Tsvangirai, had about 40 percent of the vote. Mr. Tsvangirai has rejected the results and accused the president's party of stuffing ballot boxes.
Mr. Tsvangirai said the results are the biggest electoral fraud he has ever witnessed.
However, South African observers say the outcome was legitimate, and Organization of African Unity observers say the the election was credible, transparent, free, and fair.
The election began Saturday and ended Monday.