Tsvangirai on trip for help

HARARE - Zimbabwe's opposition leader yesterday embarked on a tour of southern Africa, hoping neighbouring leaders will persuade President Robert Mugabe to release long-delayed election results.

HARARE - Zimbabwe's opposition leader yesterday embarked on a tour of southern Africa, hoping neighbouring leaders will persuade President Robert Mugabe to release long-delayed election results.

The opposition Movement for Democratic Change claims its candidate, Morgan Tsvangirai, won the March 29 vote outright and has asked a high court judge to force the publication of the results. Hearings were to continue yesterday, 11 days after the election.

Opposition officials claim Mugabe is delaying the release of the results so he can orchestrate a runoff and give ruling party militants time to intimidate rural voters and ensure he does not lose a second vote.

Still, Tsvangirai made a possible overture toward Zanu-PF, telling the SABC that he wanted a government that would "create space for everyone". But Mugabe must step down after 28 years in power.

"I think it's time for him to take his retirement," Tsvangirai said from Botswana. - Sapa-AP

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