The opposition's pullout from Friday's vote raises pressure on Zimbabwe's leader.
Johannesburg, South Africa; and Harare, Zimbabwe
Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai's decision Sunday to pull out of Friday's runoff election is increasing international pressure on President Robert Mugabe to stop the violence and allow a peaceful transfer of power in Zimbabwe.
Now all eyes are trained on South African President Thabo Mbeki, who the SADC has charged with mediating a peaceful solution to the Zimbabwe crisis, including a possible unity government. "I would hope that the leadership [of both parties] would still be open to a process which would result in them coming to some agreement," he said.
Sunday's turn of events may succeed in saving lives – at a time when more than 80 opposition activists have been killed and thousands displaced by pro-government militias – but in diplomatic circles it has had the effect of an ultimatum.
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