Zimbabwe Voting Starts In Crucial Election

Source: AP / USA Today

HARARE, Zimbabwe  — Zimbabweans voted Wednesday in elections that will determine the future of longtime President Robert Mugabe, who has denied allegations of vote-rigging and dismissed concerns about the credibility of the polls.

Lines of voters snaked around a school in Harare, where polling booths opened just after the scheduled time of 7 a.m. Wednesday. Many were dressed in heavy coats, scarves and woolen headgear to ward off the winter chill. Some had flasks of hot drinks.

“It is moving slowly, but I am here for as long as it takes. We have got to get this done,” said Isaac Rufaro, who joined the line before dawn.

The contest pits Mugabe against Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, the former opposition leader who teamed up with the president’s party in an uneasy coalition. The power-sharing deal was forged by regional leaders after Zimbabwe’s last disputed and violent election in 2008.

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