Tsvangirai says will take part in presidential runoff
Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai said Saturday he would take part in a runoff presidential election against incumbent President Robert Mugabe, reported dpa.
Such a runoff should take place within three weeks of the announcement of the results on May 2 and in presence of all international observers and international media, he said.
The MDC also called on the Southern African Development Community to send peacekeepers to Zimbabwe.
"We at the MDC feel our people will feel betrayed if we shy away from the final knock-out," Tsvangirai said. "I am ready and the people are ready for the final round."
Tsvangirai demanded that there be a total cessation of all violence and "unfettered access by all international observers", adding: "That includes SADC, African Union, UN - everyone...What we need is an election management system that is fair to all."
Answering a media question about what he would do if his demands were not met, he said: "We are going to run in a run-off. These are optimum conditions I have put forward."
He stressed that these would be in line with the SADC's commitment at their Lusaka-summit, and the SADC "should deliver now."
The MDC leader topped the poll in the March 29 elections, taking 47.9 per cent of the votes to Mugabe's 43.2 per cent in official results. A runoff is called for when no candidate takes more than 50 per cent. It must be by May 24.
The MDC had initially objected to a runoff, insisting that its count of votes showed Tsvangirai won outright.