26 July 2011

Zimbabwe: Elections Will Be Boycotted, Says Prime Minister

Zimbabwe Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai says his Movement for Democratic Change party will boycott polls if President Robert Mugabe holds them this year.

Mugabe's Zanu-PF party insists elections must be held this year to end a two and a half year old coalition deal between the MDC and Zanu-PF.

Morgan Tsvangirai insists there will be no elections this year.

He told a memorial service for a deceased MDC activist that Zanu-PF could go ahead with early polls if it insisted.

But he said the MDC won't have a part in them.

The premier is getting increasingly angry with Zanu-PF's insistence on elections in 2011, despite an earlier agreement they would be postponed.

Tsvangirai told his supporters that violence was now a religion in Zimbabwe.

Rights lawyers said at the weekend that political instability is on the rise.

The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights allege that police are openly taking sides with Mugabe's side of the government.

Eyewitnesses claimed that more than 100 Zanu-PF supporters stormed a room in parliament on Saturday where a human rights bill was being discussed.

They reportedly wanted proceedings to be conducted in the Shona language, and assaulted a reporter and manhandled an MDC MP.

Reports said riot police restored order but did not arrest any of the Zanu-PF activists.

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