Tsvangirai calls for fair 2012 election

2011-11-21 11:19

Special Report

Zimbabwe's 'Mister Ugly' contest turns ugly
Zimbabwe's 'Mister Ugly' contest turns ugly

Pageant judges have crowned a new winner of Zimbabwe's annual "Mister Ugly" contest, upsetting supporters of the crowd favourite and prompting rioting at the event.

Chitungwiza - Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, who said he was robbed of victory in 2008 elections, pleaded on Sunday for 2012 polls to reflect the will of the people.

"The vote must be secured... The will of the people must be respected," Tsvangirai told supporters of his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) supporters in Chitungwiza, southeast of the capital Harare.

President Robert Mugabe has said the next polls would take place before March but Tsvangirai said on Sunday the exact was still being discussed, amid rising tensions between their two camps.

About 2 000 MDC supporters attended Sunday's rally, as anti-riot police patrolled around the stadium.

Two weeks ago, the MDC cancelled its rally after militants from Mugabe's Zanu-PF hurled stones at supporters who were gathered in the stadium for the event.

Both Tsvangirai and Mugabe have condemned the violence in the run-up to the polls and called for tolerance.

Tsvangirai led Mugabe, who has ruled since 2008, in the first round of the 2008 presidential election but failed to win an outright majority. He pulled out of the run-off citing intimidation, handing victory to Mugabe.

Following an international outcry, sanctions on the ruling party and months of arduous negotiations, a power-sharing agreement was reached in which Mugabe kept his job and Tsvangirai became prime minister.

Read more on:    mdc  |  zanu-pf  |  morgan tsvangirai  |  robert mugabe  |  zimbabwe  |  zimbabwe elections  |  southern africa

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