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The Collective
Friday, June 20, 2008
By Dr. Steven Taylor

Mugabe challenger ‘may quit poll’

MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai is said to be under pressure to pull out in view of escalating poll-related violence.

[...]

The withdrawal threat may be aimed at pressuring other countries to demand a fair vote, a BBC correspondent says.

But if the MDC (Movement for Democratic Change) does pull out, it will be handing victory to Robert Mugabe, making it a tricky decision to take, says the BBC’s Caroline Hawley in Johannesburg, South Africa.

I am not sure how a threat to pull out would necessarily create pressure on other countries, as if Tsvangirai quits, the immediate crisis ends and the problem drops off the plates of the regional leaders.

More likely, this is about the violence:

The MDC says at least 70 of its supporters have been killed in recent weeks and 25,000 forced from their homes in a state-sponsored campaign of violence.

MDC rallies have also been disrupted and Mr Tsvangirai has been detained by police on several occasions.

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