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Should Tsvangirai abandon poll?

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rtx74fw.jpgIt’s decision time again for Morgan Tsvangirai. 

With violence spreading and African countries joining the ranks of those who say Zimbabwe’s election run-off cannot be fair, the opposition leader is considering whether to withdraw – which would leave President Robert Mugabe to continue his 28 year rule unchallenged.

Talk is still doing the rounds that South Africa’s President Thabo Mbeki has been trying to get the sides to call off the election and form a national unity government, but progress seems limited at best. South Africa’s Star newspaper said Mugabe rejected the proposal.

“It would be very difficult because neither side would want to be the junior partner,” commented Knox Chitiyo, head of the Africa programme at the Royal United Services Institute in London, to Reuters.

So what would Tsvangirai gain if he pulled out of the election? His Movement for Democratic Change has been claiming moral victories for years, but Mugabe is still firmly in State House. If Tsvangirai withdrew now, would it encourage the region and the world to take stronger action? Could they do anything anyway? If he took part and lost would that make his position even worse?

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