MDC withdraws Election Petition

Zimbabwe’s MDC party has dropped its legal challenge to President Robert Mugabe’s re-election, saying it could not get a fair hearing.

It had filed a separate case seeking access to full details of the results from the electoral commission.

But the High Court has delayed judgement in the case.

The MDC says that without information such as the number of people not on the voters’ roll who voted, it cannot prove that the elections were fraudulent.

The arguments in the MDC’s legal challenge were due to begin on Saturday.

But MDC spokesman Douglas Mwonzora said that, without the extra information, the challenge “was going to be a mockery of justice”

The withdrawal of its challenge paves the way for Mr Mugabe, 89, to be inaugurated for another five-year term.

The MDC President, Morgan Tsvangirai gave out the following statement

“My case has been so seriously undermined that it has become impracticable for me to proceed. It is a decision I took with a heavy heart to withdraw the Constitutional Court case challenging the results of the July 31 fraudulent elections. Primarily, the failure by the Electoral Court to deliver judgment in a case in which I was demanding electoral records to use as evidence has severely undermined the Constitutional Court case, which was going to be heard tomorrow in the absence of key material such as an electronic copy of the voters’ roll, full set of presidential results per constituency and special voting records. The delay in making a determination on the availability of the material seriously undermined the presidential challenge. It leaves me with serious reservations on the credibility of the court process in the absence of the crucial material. As I said before, it’s flabbergasting that I had to go to court to force ZEC, a public body, to release records, which should be readily available to the public. The Electoral Court’s actions worsened the situation. It is shocking that the court, in its wisdom, chose to sit on such a crucial matter in an act, which effectively sabotaged my case. The battle is far from over though. I have repeatedly talked about our courts and how we need other options to win this fight. Those alternatives have always been on the table and we will be rolling them out soon.”

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