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MDC applies to court to void election

Tsvangirai's party says election should be annulled due to widespread illegalities.

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

HARARE - Lawyers for the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) have filed a court appeal against the outcome of the election which has given veteran President Robert Mugabe another five-year term.

The papers were filed with the Constitutional Court in Harare and argued the election should be annulled because of widespread illegalities and intimidation of voters by Mugabe's ZANU-PF.

Tsvangirai and the MDC charged that the 31 July vote was riddled with fraud and is demanding a full audit.

Party spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora said, "We want a fresh election within 60 days. The prayer that we also seek is to declare the election null and void."

Zimbabwe's constitution says the court must rule on the case within 14 days.

Mugabe will be sworn in only after the case is decided.

At the same time, Mugabe said he no longer needs President Jacob Zuma to act as a mediator in Zimbabwe.

Zuma took over from former President Thabo Mbeki as the SADC appointed mediator in Zimbabwe's long-running political crisis which peaked during violent protests in 2008.

Zanu-PF spokesperson Joram Gumbo says Mugabe's landslide victory in polls last week means there's no need for that to continue.

Mugabe won 61 percent of the presidential vote and his party won more than two thirds of Parliamentary seats in the elections.

The state-run Herald newspaper reported Southern African Development Community's (SADC) chairperson Armando Guebuza has written to congratulate Mugabe and said Zimbabwe is likely to be taken off their regional block agenda.

While election observers from the African Union and the SADC broadly approved the presidential and parliamentary elections as orderly and free, the vote has met serious questioning from the West.

The United States, which maintains sanctions against Mugabe, has said it does not believe his re-election was credible. The European Union, which has been looking at easing sanctions, has also expressed concerns over alleged serious flaws in the vote.