The US will not recognise the outcome of Friday’s presidential election run-off in Zimbabwe, a senior state department official has said.

Jendayi Frazer told the BBC that Robert Mugabe could not claim a legitimate victory amid the current campaign of violence against the opposition. Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has pulled out of the poll, citing attacks by ruling party militias. Mr Mugabe has vowed the vote will go ahead, despite international protests. The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) says some 86 of its supporters have been killed and 200,000 forced from their homes by militias loyal to the ruling Zanu-PF party. The government blames the MDC for the violence.

Mr Tsvangirai has been taking refuge in the Dutch embassy in Harare since late Sunday, saying he fears for his life. He has called for UN peacekeepers to enter Zimbabwe and protect MDC supporters until a new election can be held. Ms Frazer, Assistant US Secretary of State for African Affairs, said Washington would not recognise the result of any vote held on Friday because the MDC had been violently forced out of the running. Her comments came amid growing international condemnation of the political crisis in Zimbabwe. “People were being beaten and losing their lives just to exercise their right to vote for their leadership so we cannot, under these conditions, recognise the outcome if, in fact, this run-off goes forward,” she said. (Continue Reading…)

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