Mugabe May Step Down After Election Loss

Zimbabwean president apparently concludes he can't hold on to power
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 1, 2008 9:28 AM CDT
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, left, and his wife Grace, right, react during a visit to Harare hospital in Harare, Zimbabwe, Thursday, March 27, 2008. Mugabe donated hospital equipment to the government...   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Robert Mugabe appears ready to stand down as president of Zimbabwe, the New York Times reports, 3 days after an election in which he is said to have lost to opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai. Sources tell the Times his aides are negotiating a possible exit with Tsvangirai, and the opposition team is talking with national military and intelligence organizations about a transfer of power.

Unofficial election results give Tsvangirai only a 48% to 43% victory, a result which would legally trigger a runoff vote; but Mugabe has concluded that a second ballot would be humiliating, the Times reports. After 28 years in power, Mugabe has left  the country’s economy in shambles, with the inflation rate currently at 100,000%.