Zimbabwe President Rules Out Coalition Government With Opposition

Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa has ruled out forming a coalition government, despite his narrow win in last week's presidential election. The opposition is gearing up to challenge the official results in court.

In a television broadcast, Mnangagwa ruled out forming a coalition government with Nelson Chamisa of the Movement for Democratic Change Alliance.

The two locked horns in the July 30 presidential election with Mnangagwa winning a slim victory with 50.8 percent of the vote, according to official results.

Asked by Sky television whether he would form a coalition government given his narrow victory, the 75-year-old politician pointed out his ZANU-PF party won firm control of parliament.

“In 1964 Harold Wilson of Britain had one seat, beating the conservative by one seat and he formed a government and ruled England and I have two thirds majority and you are talking about me abandoning my two thirds majority to seek a government of national unity,” Mnangagwa said.

“Not that it’s a bad idea, but it doesn’t show that there is any need ... Those who voted against me, those who voted for me, we say Zimbabwe is ours together let’s move on. The best argument, the best vision, the best ideas have taken the day.”

Opposition leader Chamisa has refused to accept results given by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission and accused it of rigging the July 30 polls for ZANU-PF.

Last week the opposition protested in Harare. Police used tear gas and live fire to disperse the crowd, killing six people.

The co-director of an international observer mission to Zimbabwe’s elections, Larry Garber, called on all parties to refrain from violence.

“We have expressed concerns, certainly about the use of excessive force, we think that’s inappropriate,” Garber said. “And we appreciated the commitment by the president to an independent investigation of the events of last week, we think it’s important that there will be accountabilities to those who are responsible for perhaps using excessive force.”

On Monday, Chamisa spokesman Nkululeko Sibanda said the opposition had put together a “strong” legal team and will approach the court Tuesday to challenge election results.

Meanwhile, some protesters who were arrested last week appeared in court Monday.

The 27 protesters have been charged with public violence and malicious damage to ZANU-PF property. Attorneys from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights say the charges should be dropped, arguing the defendants were nowhere near the scene of the alleged crimes.

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