No Exit Deal for Mugabe Yet, Says Rival

Opposition leader dismisses rumors but prepares to govern
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Apr 1, 2008 6:49 PM CDT
An unidentified ruling Zanu pf supporter holds up a piece of cloth with President Robert Mugabe's portrait at his last rally in Harare, Friday, March, 28, 2008.    (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)
camera-icon View 4 more images

(Newser) – Zimbabwe's opposition party—the apparent winner in national elections— and the government of Robert Mugabe dismissed rumors that a deal has been reached for Mugabe to step down, the BBC reports. “Any speculation about deals, about negotiations, about reaching out” is false, said opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai. A minister from Mugabe’s party agreed. Official election results are expected tomorrow.

The news contradicts earlier claims by opposition party sources that representatives for Mugabe and opposition party MDC were near a deal. The election commission remains mum on results, but the MDC expects to take over soon, with polls showing the party in the lead, Reuters reports. It remains unclear if MDC got a big enough percentage to avoid a runoff. “Today we face a new challenge, that of governance,” said Tsvangirai.