Douglas Mwonzora, spokesman for Zimbabwe's Movement For Democratic Change (MDC-T) party led by Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, speaks at a media briefing at the party headquarters in Harare Aug. 16, 2013. Morgan Tsvangirai, who lost to his longtime rival President Robert Mugabe in July 31 elections, has decided to withdraw a legal bid to challenge the poll outcome, the spokesman for Tsvangirai's party said on Friday. (Xinhua/Stringer)
HARARE, Aug. 16 (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, who lost to his longtime rival President Robert Mugabe in July 31 elections, has decided to withdraw a legal bid to challenge the poll outcome, a spokesman for Tsvangirai's party said on Friday.
MDC-T party spokesman Douglas Mwonzora confirmed to Xinhua that the party withdrew the court petition because the party had not been given the materials they had requested from electoral commission and also because the chief justice had said that no oral evidence would be accepted.
The party earlier said in a statement that it is an "uneven ground" upon which it is operating and the judicial arena is not suitable for the resolution of what is essentially a political dispute.
The country's top court originally set the hearing for Tsvangirai's challenge on Saturday.
"I consider that I have no other option but to take this grave decision. This sadly, as far as I am concerned, entails that the Zimbabwe situation is far from resolved..," pro-Mugabe state media quoted Tsvangirai as saying.
The 61-year-old prime minister had described the July 31 polls a huge farce after he lost, by a big margin, to veteran president Mugabe. Tsvangirai got only 34 percent of the vote compared to 61 percent won by Mugabe. The president's Zanu-PF party also won more than 70 percent of the parliament seats.
Since 2002, Tsvangirai had tried but failed in all three attempts to unseat Mugabe in polls. Mugabe, Africa's oldest ruler at 89, has been at the helm of the government since its independence from Britain in 1980.
In his first public speech after re-election, Mugabe told his poll critics to "go hang" and reiterated that his party will not go back on the grand victory.
Mugabe on Friday flew to Lilongwe, Malawi, for the weekend summit of regional leaders of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) grouping. The bloc, which brokered the coalition government between Mugabe and Tsvangirai, has largely endorsed the July 31 polls.
MDC-T top official Nelson Chamisa told state news agency New Ziana that the party would now pursue what he described as a political settlement of the party's grievance.
He did not specify what political settlement entailed but the party could be trying to press SADC and the AU to broker another power sharing arrangement in the country, the report said.
Mugabe has vowed never to allow Tsvangirai mere power again especially in a coalition arrangement.
According to the country's law, a president can only be sworn in after the top court deals with all legal challenges concerning the polls. The court is still expected to rule on Tsvangirai's case as legal experts described the prime minister's decision to withdraw unprocedural.
HARARE, Aug. 9 (Xinhua) -- Outgoing Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on Friday filed an appeal at the Constitutional Court challenging results of the July 31 elections which were won by President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu-PF party.
Tsvangirai's MDC-T party spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora confirmed to Xinhua that the party had filed the appeal despite not getting the election material and information they required from the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to build their evidence. Full Story