South African president Jacob Zuma has sent a congratulatory message to Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe after he won in what have been widely condemned as rigged elections.
Zuma urged the feuding Zimbabwean parties to accept the results and allow the country to move forward.
Mugabe’s main rival, Morgan Tsvangirai has rejected the results and appealed to SADC and local courts to nullify the vote and conduct fresh polls.
“President Zuma urges all political parties in Zimbabwe to accept the outcome of the elections as election observers reported it to be an expression of the will of the people,” said a statement from foreign affairs spokesman Clayson Monyela.
Zuma’s endorsement before Zimbabwean courts have issued a verdict on the electoral outcome, and before the African Union issues a formal report to the contesting parties, has riled the MDC-T.
Tsvangirai described the election as a “huge farce” and a “stolen vote”. Australian foreign minister Bob Carr said the election should be re-run. U.S. secretary of state John Kerry said he did not “think the results represent a credible expression of the Zimbabwean people”. The UK’s William Hague said there were “grave concerns” regarding the vote.
Mugabe’s inauguration now has to wait for the courts to rule on Tsvangirai’s court challenge, expected to be filed by Wednesday.


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