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Tsvangirai calls for early polls

Tsvangirai says with companies closing and millions unemployed, the country can't wait until 2018.

Zimbabwe opposition party MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai has called for early polls, sighting Zimbabwe's economic situation.

HARARE - Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has called for elections to be held before 2018, when the next polls are due.

Tsvangirai, who controversially lost to President Robert Mugabe last July, says that only fresh polls can resolve Zimbabwe's current economic crisis.

Tsvangirai was speaking at a rally in Chipinge in south eastern Zimbabwe.

He says with companies closing and millions unemployed, the country couldn't wait until 2018.

Tsvangirai lost by around a million votes in the last elections, although he and his party insist victory was stolen from them.

Tsvangirai himself is facing pressure to quit his post as leader of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) by various top officials.

But in quotes carried by Sunday's private Standard newspaper, Tsvangirai said he would only give up if he's voted out of the party congress due next year and not to what he termed "a hostile takeover".