Zimbabwe court throws out election-rigging case

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — Zimbabwe’s highest court has thrown out a legal challenge that alleged the July 31 elections won by President Robert Mugabe were marred by fraud.

Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku, head of the Constitutional Court, on Tuesday dismissed the challenge from Zimbabwe’s main opposition party and said the court found that the elections had been free and fair. The ruling clears the way for Mugabe’s inauguration on Thursday.

Mugabe, who has been in power since 1980, appoints the nation’s judges and they have frequently ruled in his favor in the past decade of political and economic turmoil.

Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai had sought to withdraw his legal challenge, saying the state refused to hand over polling data that he needed as evidence. But the court considered the challenge anyway.

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