Sunday 1 February 2015

Mugabe sparks fury with early elections

Aislinn Laing and Peta Thornycroft Johannesburg

Published 14/06/2013 | 05:00

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe addresses the 64th United Nations General Assembly in New York...Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe addresses the 64th United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York September 25, 2009.  REUTERS/Mike Segar   (UNITED NATIONS POLITICS)...A
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe

Robert Mugabe has provoked warnings of a constitutional crisis by invoking presidential powers to bypass parliament and declare elections to be held in Zimbabwe on July 31.

It is the first time the 89-year-old has issued a presidential decree since the formation of a coalition government with rival Morgan Tsvangirai, the prime minister, in 2009.

Mr Tsvangirai accused Mr Mugabe of acting "unlawfully and unconstitutionally".

"As prime minister, I cannot and will not accept this," he said in Harare.

He said he would not accept a situation in which Zimbabweans were "railroaded" into "another illegitimate election".

Mr Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change has lost support since forming a coalition with Mr Mugabe's Zanu PF, and a July 31 poll will give it scant time to rally more voters.

Mr Mugabe said he was bound by a ruling of the Constitutional Court that elections be held by July 31 because of the expiry of the coalition agreement. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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