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ANC hopes for fair elections in Zim

ANC hopes Zimbabwe elections for a new government will build a society free from fear and intimidation.

FILE: Zimbabwe Prime Minister and MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai pictured on March 15, 2013 talking to church leaders about upcoming elections. Picture: AFP/JEKESAI NJIKIZANA

JOHANNESBURG - The African National Congress (ANC) say it hope Wednesday's Zimbabwe elections for a new government will build a society free of violence, fear and intimidation.

The party says these elections are a critical milestone in the implementation of the global political agreement in the country to resolve the stalemate following the last elections that were marred with violence.

The ANC's Keith Khoza says they hope for free and fair elections.

"The ANC hopes that the elections will be fair, open and transparent."

At the same time, setting aside weeks of campaign trail acrimony, Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe buried the hatchet with political rival Morgan Tsvangirai on the eve of the hotly contested election, which remains too close to call.

Flanked by his Defence Minister and two stuffed lion in the colonial grandeur of State House in Harare, the 89-year-old leader likened the run-up to the poll as a boxing match that ends in a handshake not bloodshed.

He also said he would accept the will of the people if his ZANU-PF Party lost.

Meanwhile, Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Tsvangirai said he was confident his party would do well.

"It's a historic event and what I can anticipate is a victory for the MDC. I've been shown an overwhelming desire by the people of this country to have change."