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Zimbabwe's Mugabe Tells Opponents to Accept His Victory

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe addresses the crowd gathered to commemorate Heroes Day, in Harare, Zimbabwe, Aug. 12, 2013.
Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe said the West and his political rivals must accept his re-election in Zimbabwe's July 31 polls, in which official results showed him winning a landslide victory over rival Morgan Tsvangirai.

In his first public speech since he won Zimbabwe's disputed presidential election, Mugabe, 89, said the West and his political rivals can “go and hang” if they cannot stand his re-election. "We are delivering democracy on a platter. Will you take it? We say take it or leave it," he sniped. "But the people have delivered it. And forward ever. Never will never go back on our achievements, on our victory."

According to the Zimbabwe Election Commission [ZEC], Mugabe defeated Prime Minister Tsvangirai, 61 - 34 percent in the July 31 polls. On Friday, Tsvangirai’s lawyers filed a challenge to the results at the Constitutional Court.

Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change accuses the ZEC of rigging the elections for Mugabe and his ZANU-PF party. They want Mugabe’s re-election to be nullified, and they also want new polls to be called in 60 days.

The court has until August 23 to deliver its decision, which has held up the swearing-in of Mugabe.

If the court rejects the MDC challenge, Mugabe will begin a new term by the end of this month. By the end of that term, Mugabe will be 94 years old, and eligible to run for still another term in 2018.