Mugabe's party ready for presidential poll run-off with rival

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Harare, Apr.3 : Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe's ruling party is ready for a presidential election run-off with arch rival Morgan Tsvangirai, a Government spokesman said today.

"ZANU-PF is ready for a run-off, we are ready for a resulting victory,'' news.com.au quoted Deputy Information Minister Bright Matonga, as saying.

Matonga said that the party had "let the President down'' and had not diverted enough energy into its campaign.

"In terms of strategy, we only applied 25 percent of our energy into this campaign ... That (the run-off) is when we are going to unleash the other 75 percent that we did not apply in the first case.''

Matonga said Mugabe, who has not been seen in public since he cast his vote in Saturday's polls, was "very much alive and kicking and is anxiously awaiting the results as well.''

The electoral commission announced overnight that Mugabe's ruling Zimbabwe African National Union - Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) had lost its parliamentary majority to Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

The delay in announcing the presidential result has fueled suspicions that the 84-year-old leader was seeking to tamper with the results and cling to the seat he has held since Zimbabwe gained independence from Britain in 1980.

Frustrated with the silence from the commission, the opposition MDC pre-emptively released its own results yesterday indicating that Mr Tsvangirai had won the presidency outright with more than 50 percent of votes.

State media has said Mugabe now faces the likelihood of a run-off against Tsvangirai, who Mr Mugabe recently pledged would never rule in his lifetime.

ANI

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