Without Runoff, Mugabe Will Win 'by Default'
Zimbabwe election commission rebuts opposition victory claim
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted May 1, 2008 8:06 AM CDT
Zimbabwean leader of the Movement for Democratic Change, MDC, Morgan Tsvangirai, talks at a news conference in Johannesburg, Monday April 28, 2008.   (AP Photo/Denis Farrell)
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(Newser) – The head of Zimbabwe's electoral commission tells CNN that Robert Mugabe will win re-election by default if Morgan Tsvangirai goes through with a threat to boycott a runoff.
Tsvangirai's party claims a 50.3% victory, making a runoff unnecessary; Mugabe's party argues he has only a 47%-43% margin. The commission head, George Chiweshe, said results of the March presidential race will be submitted to both parties today.

Chiweshe said the vote counts must be verified by the parties, as the final step before making the results public, which Zimbabwe has been under intense international pressure to do. He wants the parties to sign "verification forms" before the results can be released. It's highly unlikely that the parties will agree on the results, CNN notes, and Chiweshe said the commission can publicly announce its results in the event of a stalemate.