Zimbabwe Government Sources: Mugabe to Be Inaugurated SundayBy VOA News
28 June 2008
President Robert Mugabe addresses media after voting in Harare, 27 Jun 2008
Government sources in Zimbabwe say President Robert Mugabe is headed for victory in the country's presidential runoff and is expected to be sworn in on Sunday.
Vote counting from Friday's runoff continued Saturday, as the United States and Britain worked to discredit the poll, which they dismiss as a sham.
The opposition Movement for Democratic Change has claimed one small victory, saying it won one of three special elections for parliamentary seats.
But government sources say Mr. Mugabe has scored a big win in the presidential run-off. The president became the sole candidate in the race earlier this week when opponent Morgan Tsvangirai withdrew, saying violence against his supporters made the vote impossible.
Saturday, Britain's Prime Minister Gordon Brown said the run-off was a "new low" for Zimbabwe, while U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Washington will pursue new measures against Zimbabwe at the United Nations Security Council.
Rice said a new resolution, meant to send a "strong message of deterrence" to Zimbabwe's leaders, could be introduced as early as Monday.
Late on Friday, the Security Council said conditions for a free and fair vote did not exist in Zimbabwe, but stopped short of calling the run-off illegitimate as some members wanted.
Zimbabwe's state-run "Herald" newspaper says there was "massive turnout" on Friday, although officials have not released any numbers. Witnesses say turnout was generally low, following a call for a boycott from Mr. Tsvangirai.
Election observers say that in some areas, ruling party militia forced people to vote by threatening them with bodily harm.
Despite the U.S. and British calls for more pressure on Mr. Mugabe, African foreign ministers meeting in Egypt say they oppose more sanctions against his government. The ministers say dialogue between Mr. Mugabe and the opposition is more likely to resolve the crisis.
The United States, Britain, and European Union have an array of travel and financial sanctions against President Mugabe and more than 100 of his associations for alleged human rights violations.
Mr. Mugabe has ruled Zimbabwe since the country won independence from Britain in 1980. He lost the first round presidential election to Tsvangirai on March 29. However, official results showed Tsvangirai falling just short of the majority needed to avoid a runoff.