Zimbabwe Government Says It’s Going Ahead With Election

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — The government of Zimbabwe says it’s going ahead with a presidential runoff election on Friday, despite international protests.

President Robert Mugabe, by all indications, is intent on extending his nearly three-decade rule.

Zimbabwe’s opposition leader, meanwhile, briefly emerged from his refuge at the Dutch Embassy Wednesday. Morgan Tsvangirai called on African leaders to guide talks to end Zimbabwe’s crisis, saying this week’s election is no solution.

Tsvangirai first took refuge in the embassy Sunday after withdrawing from the election, saying he feared for his safety.

Some 300 of his supporters have sought refuge at South Africa’s embassy in Zimbabwe. A South African spokesman says the ambassador is talking with the group and that the situation is under control.

President Bush, meanwhile, says the Zimbabwe election appears to be a “sham.” Bush said at the White House: “You can’t have free elections when a candidate is not allowed to campaign without fear of intimidation.”