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Zimbabwe election officials arrested for alleged vote tampering

[JURIST] Zimbabwean police have arrested at least five election officials for allegedly under-counting votes for current Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] during the March 29 presidential election [JURIST report], police officials confirmed Monday. Independent observers say that the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) [party website] candidate Morgan Tsvangirai [BBC profile] won more votes than Mugabe, but Mugabe and his Zimbabwe African National Union - Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) [party website] are demanding a recount [JURIST report] and the Zimbabwean Electoral Commission (ZEC) has not yet released the official results because of "errors and miscalculations" in their compilation. The MDC has characterized the recount request as a tactic to keep Mugabe in power, while Mugabe's administration has denied any improper delays in the vote count.

On Monday, a High Court judge in Harare ruled that the court has the jurisdiction to hear a lawsuit seeking a court order to compel the ZEC to immediately release the results [JURIST reports] of the elections, but refused to issue an immediate ruling in the case. On Saturday, the court postponed hearing the case [JURIST report] when lawyers for the MDC were barred by government security forces from entering the courts. Australia's ABC News has more. From Zimbabwe, the Herald has local coverage.

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