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Zimbabwe opposition files lawsuit to force release of presidential election results

[JURIST] Zimbabwean opposition party Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) [party website] filed a lawsuit in the Harare High Court Friday to compel the country's Electoral Commission [official website] to release the results of last Saturday's elections [JURIST report]. The commission has not yet announced a winner in the presidential election, although independent observers say that opposition candidate Morgan Tsvangirai [BBC profile] won the most votes but not enough to win the election outright. Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] and his Zanu-PF party Friday agreed to a runoff election with Tsvangirai.

On Thursday, Zimbabwe security forces detained journalists [CPJ press release; JURIST report] working for the New York Times and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and raided offices belonging to opposition candidates in what some see as indications that Mugabe may refuse to relinquish power if he is found to have lost last Saturday's general election. Zimbabwe opposition parties allege that the government rigged the country's local, senate, assembly and presidential elections. Mugabe's administration has denied any improper delays in the vote count, with Electoral Commission officials attributing the lag to the task of tallying all the results together for the first time in the country's history. AP has more.

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