Mugabe Concedes Defeat to Aides

But will he step aside?
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 3, 2008 3:30 AM CDT
An election poster of Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe is pinned on an effigy mocking his government in Harare, Wednesday April 2, 2008.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe has privately conceded defeat in last weekend's presidential election, leaving open the question of whether he will step down after 28 years in power, reports Business Day. Mugabe has told his family, advisers, and members of the army and intelligence operations that he was clearly outvoted by opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, sources told the South African newspaper.

The most pressing question is whether Mugabe will step down immediately or will participate in a run-off election, required if no candidate wins an absolute majority.  Tsvangirai claims to have topped the 50% threshold, but Mugabe's Zanu-PF party has contested that, and no official election results have been announced. Zanu-PF  has already lost control of parliament.