April 15th, 2008 03:23 EST
Despite Strike, Zimbabwe is Open for Business
Businesses were opening as usual in Zimbabwe Tuesday despite the opposition political party's call for a strike to pressure officials to release the results of last month's presidential elections.
The Movement for Democratic Change called for the general strike after High Court judge Tendai Uchena rejected its petition to make the electoral commission release the tally immediately.
The MDC encouraged people to stay home rather than protest in the streets. Riot police were on patrol in the capital, Harare, to prevent violence.
U.S. and British diplomats are planning to raise the issue of Zimbabwe's post-election crisis at a meeting of the U.N. Security Council.
A spokesman for the U.S. mission, Benjamin Chang, said late Monday the U.S. plans to highlight its concern for Zimbabwe at a meeting Wednesday.
South Africa, which holds the rotating presidency of the 15-member Security Council, has opposed the idea.
Zimbabwe's election commission confirmed Monday that it will go ahead with a recount of presidential and parliamentary results in 23 voting districts, regardless of any court procedures. The MDC has filed a court challenge seeking to stop the recount.
The MDC says its leader and candidate Morgan defeated longtime President Robert Mugabe in the March 29 vote.
It also says the government is holding back the results so the ruling ZANU-PF party can orchestrate a runoff and victory for Mr. Mugabe.
The opposition party gained control of the key lower house of parliament in last month's vote - a rare victory in a country where Mr. Mugabe has kept a tight grip on power for 28 years.