[QODLink]
Africa

MDC holds final rally ahead of Zimbabwe polls

Supporters descend on Harare square to meet Morgan Tsvangirai, who they want to see unseating President Robert Mugabe.

Last Modified: 29 Jul 2013 17:55
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Monday's rally was initially banned by the government but was ruled legal by the High Court [Azad Essa/Al Jazeera]

Harare, Zimbabwe -   Thousands have descended to Freedom Square in central Harare for the Movement for Democratic Change's final rally before general elections in Zimbabwe.

Supporters, dressed in the party colours of red on Monday met for what leaders were ambitiously calling a "cross-over rally" where Zimbabweans could meet the man who could become the country's new president.

Al Jazeera's Mohammed Adow reports from Harare

Chanting and singing "Bob must go", in reference to President Robert Mugabe, supporters sat in the open field waiting for party leader Morgan Tsvangirai, the country's prime minister, to arrive and address them.

"This is a very historical moment, on Wednesday we will make one of the most important choices since independence in 1980," Tsvangirai told the crowds. 

"[It is] a choice between a bleak yesterday and a tomorrow, between authoritarianism and democratic governance."

He continued with: "D o you want democracy or dictatorship? this is not a political choice, but a generation's choice."

Supporters to Tsvangirai who attended the rally told Al Jazeera they are certain Mugabe is going to lose .

Wednesday's elections will see Zimbabwe elect a new government and parliament following a five-year coalition government mainly made up of Mugabe's Zanu-PF and Tsvangirai's MDC parties.

The rally on Monday was initially banned by the government but was then ruled legal after the MDC filed an urgent application with the High Court.

Mugabe on Sunday warned Tsvangirai against announcing himself as winner of the polls until the results come out, threatening to arrest him if he declared victory before the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) announce the results.

Almost 6,5 million Zimbabweans are eligible to vote. 

According to the ZEC, 91 percent have registered though this number has already been disputed.

The MDC have alleged that the elections have already been rigged and will neither be free nor fair. 

Almost 6,000 local and 600 foreign monitors will observe the electoral proceedings. The observers come from African countries, as Western monitors have been banned from the process.

396

Source:
Al Jazeera
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Featured
Lacking cohesive local ground forces to attack in tandem, coalition air strikes will have limited effect, experts say.
Hindu right-wing groups run campaign against what they say is Muslim conspiracy to convert Hindu girls into Islam.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
Muslim caretakers maintain three synagogues in eastern Indian city, which was once home to a thriving Jewish community.
Amid fresh ISIL gains, officials in Anbar province have urged the Iraqi government to request foreign ground troops.