Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change will take its claim of victory in last month's election over President Robert Mugabe to the United Nations Security Council this week, the party said Sunday, dpa reported.
MDC Secretary-General Tendai Biti will lead a delegation to New York, where he will tell a Security Council session on Zimbabwe's post-election standoff that the party is not prepared to partake in a second round, an MDC statement said.
MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai claims he won the March 29 election outright, a claim Zanu-PF rejects, saying neither he nor Mugabe won an outright majority and that a run-off is needed.
The official results have not yet been released but the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission said it would begin verifying and collating results from a partial recount of the votes on Monday, sparking fresh hopes that the outcome might shortly be known.
Bolstered by confirmation of its historic victory over Mugabe's party in the parliamentary component of the elections the MDC said Sunday it tell the UN Security Council it would not participate in a presidential runoff, "whatever the circumstances and conditions."
The party has touted an "inclusive" transitional government, led by Tsvangirai.
A partial recount of some seats in the parliamentary election showed the MDC retaining it majority over Zanu-PF, which was relegated to a minority party for the first time since coming to power at independence in 1980.
The MDC won 109 seats in the 210-seat House of Assembly in the first count of votes, against 97 for Zanu-PF.
Tsvangirai's party had feared Zanu-PF might try to claw back parliament by rigging the recount but with 18 of 23 seats recounted the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) said there had been "no major changes."
As the recount dragged on, the US appealed to Zimbabwe's neighbours to put pressure on the government to halt violence against civilians.
After talks Sunday with Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa, US Assistant Secretary of State for Africa Jendayi Frazer said: "I think the region needs to be speaking very loudly and clearly to President Mugabe and his government to say that the violence must come to an end immediately.
It was "unacceptable" that people were being punished for voting for change, said Frazer, who has declared Tsvangirai the "clear winner" of the election.
MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa claimed over 15 party members have been killed in attacks by mostly Zanu-PF youth militia and soldiers against people in rural areas suspected of "voting wrongly." He also claims more than 3,000 houses had been burnt down and 5,000 families displaced.
The MDC blasted South Africa's silence on the violence - South African President Thabo Mbeki said recently there was "no crisis" in Zimbabwe - and called on the UN to send an envoy to work with the Southern African Development Community (SADC) on resolving the impasse.
Within South Africa, pressure is also growing on Mbeki, SADC' mediator in Zimbabwe, to take a harder line with 84-year-old Mugabe, who has shown no signs of readiness to retire despite his party's admission he did not win the presidency.
Speaking on South Africa's Freedom Day Sunday, well-known activist Winnie Madikizela-Mandela told South African radio: "We wish that they would stop the violence in Zimbabwe. If the Zimbabweans are not free, we (South Africans) are not free."
This week's UN Security Council session on Zimbabwe comes amid concerns at the first sign of a "fight back" by MDC members.
Human Rights Watch said Friday it had documented several incidents of "retaliatory violence by MDC supporters" but that "the scope of these incidents bears no comparison to the widespread state-sponsored violence by ZANU-PF and its allies."
The council meeting also follows a forceful police raid on MDC headquarters Friday, in which over 200 people - mostly people displaced by the violence in rural areas - were arrested.
By Sunday the detainees had not yet been brought to court to be formally charged.