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Zimbabwe Vote Crisis Grows After Tsvangirai Drops Out

After a disputed election and claims of politically fueled violence, opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai dropped out of a run-off vote against President Robert Mugabe. U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Zalmay Khalilzad examines the issue.

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    Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai's decision to pull out of this week's presidential runoff came nearly three months after the first round of balloting.

    Tsvangirai won more votes in March than President Robert Mugabe did, but did not get a majority in the official count. That led to the runoff.

    Tsvangirai has called the entire process a sham, and his supporters have been brutalized by Mugabe's regime. Scores have been killed, hundreds injured, and thousands displaced by spiraling violence.

    Tsvangirai himself has been targeted for assassination, arrested multiple times, and left the country at one point.

    Concern for his own safety drove Tsvangirai to seek refuge in the Dutch embassy in Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe.

    In an interview with National Public Radio broadcast this morning before he went to the Dutch embassy, the opposition leader said Mugabe had no intention of relinquishing power.

    MORGAN TSVANGIRAI, Leader, Movement for Democratic Change: Well, there's nothing that is going to change the outcome. What he wants is to go through a process of a so-called participation and then declare himself the winner.

    He has already declared that he will not accept the opposition victory. He is not going to hand over power and that he is going to go to war if he lost. So under those circumstances, Mugabe is determined that he wants to stay in power for ever and ever.