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Published:April 14th, 2008 08:26 EST
Election results remains Zimbabwe's secret

Election results remains Zimbabwe's secret

By SOP newswire

Zimbabwe's High Court has rejected an opposition request that it order the immediate release of results from last month's presidential election.

The Movement for Democratic Change party had petitioned the court to make Zimbabwe's electoral commission put out the tally.

But Judge Tendai Uchena turned down the MDC Monday, saying he was dismissing the case "with costs."  The full details of his judgment are expected later today.

The MDC says its leader and candidate Morgan Tsvangirai defeated longtime President Robert Mugabe in the March 29 vote.  Last week, it called for a general strike to begin on Tuesday if the election results are not announced.

The MDC says the government is holding back the results so the ruling ZANU-PF party and the military can intimidate opponents ahead of a possible run-off.

Independent monitors say Mr. Tsvangirai likely finished first in last month's vote but may have fallen short of the majority needed to avoid a second round.

Also today, Zimbabwe's electoral commission said it will press ahead with a recount of presidential and parliamentary results in 23 voting districts.

The state-run "Herald" newspaper today quotes the commission's chief (Utoile Silaigwana) as saying the recount is within the commission's mandate regardless of any court procedures.  The MDC has filed a court challenge seeking to stop the recount.

The opposition party gained control of the key lower house of parliament in the March 29 vote.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.