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Mugabe Inaugurated After Widely Condemned Election

Mugabe Inaugurated Following Widely Condemned Election

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe has been sworn in for a new five-year term, after being declared the winner of an election that many observers have dismissed as unfair and illegitimate.

Mr. Mugabe took the oath of office in the capital, Harare, Sunday, less than an hour after the electoral commission announced he had won Friday's presidential run-off.

The official results showed Mr. Mugabe winning about 2.15 million votes, or 85 percent of the tally. Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai received about 233,000 votes, while more than 130,000 other ballots were defaced or spoiled.

Tsvangirai withdrew from the run-off last week, saying ruling party militants had killed dozens and injured thousands of his supporters.

Earlier today, an observer team from the Pan African Parliament called for new elections, saying Friday's vote was not credible. Mission leader Marwick Khumalo said hate speech, incitement to violence and war rhetoric instilled fear and trepidation in voters.

He also said it is hard to dismiss the claims that recent violence in Zimbabwe was state-sponsored.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission issued the results of Friday's run-off in less than 48 hours, compared to a wait of more than five weeks for the first-round election in March.

Mr. Tsvangirai defeated Mr. Mugabe in that first vote, but official results showed him falling just short of a majority.

The opposition leader has spent most of the past week in the Dutch embassy in Harare because of fears for his safety.

President Mugabe has ruled Zimbabwe since the country won independence from Britain in 1980.

ENDS

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