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Zimbabwe court orders election recount delayed until presidential results disclosed

[JURIST] Zimbabwe's High Court Sunday ordered the country’s Electoral Commission [official website] to refrain from recounting the results of the combined March 29 elections [JURIST report] until the presidential poll results are announced. Zimbabwean opposition party Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) [party website] sought to enjoin the Electoral Commission following the official announcement that a recount in 23 out of 210 constituencies would be undertaken. The Electoral Commission, which had called for a recount under pressure [JURIST report] from the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union - Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) [party website], cited “reasonable grounds” for suspecting that votes were miscounted in a way that could affect the outcome.

The MDC filed a lawsuit [JURIST report] earlier this month to compel the Electoral Commission to release the results of the presidential elections. A High Court ruling in that case is expected on Monday. Though no official tally has been released, independent observers say that MDC candidate Morgan Tsvangirai [BBC profile] won more votes than sitting President Robert Mugabe but likely not enough to reach the 50 percent plus one needed for outright victory. A run-off presidential election is widely expected. The March elections combined local, senate, assembly and presidential polls. BBC News has more. The Independent has additional coverage.

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