Tsvangirai Pulls Out of Zimbabwe Race

Cites escalating violence and intimidation
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 22, 2008 8:45 AM CDT
Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai    (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The opposition leader in Zimbabwe's presidential runoff election has dropped out of the race, citing escalating violence and intimidation against his party by President Robert Mugabe's government. Morgan Tsvangirai announced his decision to pull out of Friday's runoff election at a news conference today in Zimbabwe's capital, after thousands of ruling party militants and soldiers in full riot gear blockaded the site of a rally there.

At least 70 Tsvangerai supporters have been killed in recent months. "We will no longer participate in this violent, illegitimate sham of an election process," said Tsvangirai. "We will not play the game of Mugabe." He call on the UN and the African Union to intervene to prevent a "genocide" in Zimbabwe, the BBC reported.