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Ban Meets Zimbabwean Opposition Leader Over Crisis

Secretary-General meets with Zimbabwean opposition leader over election crisis

21 April 2008 - Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has held talks today with Zimbabwean opposition leader and presidential contender Morgan Tsvangirai over the protracted post-election crisis in the Southern African country.

Mr. Ban and Mr. Tsvangirai met for half an hour in Accra, Ghana, at the request of the opposition figure, United Nations spokesperson Michele Montas told journalists.

Mr. Tsvangirai complained about the deadlock in Zimbabwe, where the results of the presidential poll held on 29 March have still not been released, and the deterioration of the country's humanitarian and political situation.

Ms. Montas said the Zimbabwean also appealed to the UN and the African Union to intervene as he feels there has been no progress with the Southern African Development Community, which held a summit on the crisis earlier this month.

During today's encounter the Secretary-General reiterated his deep concern both that the situation has not yet been resolved and at reports of violence. He renewed his appeal for the release of the election results as soon as possible and said he would consult the leadership of the AU on possible ways forward.

Zimbabwe's electoral authorities have already announced the results of the parliamentary elections that were held on the same day as the presidential poll, in which the incumbent Robert Mugabe was challenged by Mr. Tsvangirai.

ENDS

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