Zimbabwe: Movement for Democratic Change's Morgan Tsvangirai withdraws election challenge

The swearing-in ceremony for long-time Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe can go ahead after the main opposition party withdrew a court challenge to last month’s disputed election results.

The Movement for Democratic Change said it had not received election material needed to corroborate its claims that the vote was rigged and it would not receive a fair hearing.

“The prime minister has withdrawn his election petition," MDC spokesman Douglas Mwonzora said of outgoing Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's decision.

"The main reason is that this trial was going to be a mockery of justice. We have tried to make use of the legal process and it has proved to be impossible."

Tsvangirai, who served as prime minister in a unity government with Mugabe after the 2008 elections, had rejected the results of the July 31 poll, which gave Mugabe 61 percent of the votes, and had called for a new election.

His party claimed hundreds of thousands of eligible voters were prevented from voting and ballots were cast in the names of people who were deceased.

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