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Robert Mugabe tells Zimbabwean rivals to accept his re-election or 'commit suicide'

By Columbus Mavhunga, for CNN
updated 3:32 AM EDT, Tue August 13, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Mugabe: "Those who can't stomach the defeat, you can commit suicide"
  • He won re-election July 31 with 61% of the vote
  • The opposition party accuses the electoral commission of rigging the polls

(CNN) -- Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe said Monday the West and his political opponents can commit suicide if they cannot accept his recent re-election.

"Those who can't stomach the defeat, you can commit suicide. Even dogs will not sniff their carcasses," said the 89-year-old leader while addressing an event to commemorate veterans of Zimbabwe's war for independence.

It was his first public speech since the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission declared him winner, with 61% of the vote, of the July 31 elections, beating Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change last week challenged the election results, accusing the electoral commission of rigging the polls for Mugabe's ZANU-PF.

Robert Mugabe has been the leader of Zimbabwe in southern Africa since 1980 and is the country's only leader since it gained independence from Britain. He was declared victor for his seventh term as president of Zimbabwe on Saturday, August 3, according to the head of the country's Election Commission. Allegations of voter fraud have surfaced for this most recent vote, and tensions were already high due to a troubled 2008 vote. That election left Mugabe as the only candidate after Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai dropped out amid election fraud, violence and arrests targeting his party and supporters. Robert Mugabe has been the leader of Zimbabwe in southern Africa since 1980 and is the country's only leader since it gained independence from Britain. He was declared victor for his seventh term as president of Zimbabwe on Saturday, August 3, according to the head of the country's Election Commission. Allegations of voter fraud have surfaced for this most recent vote, and tensions were already high due to a troubled 2008 vote. That election left Mugabe as the only candidate after Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai dropped out amid election fraud, violence and arrests targeting his party and supporters.
Political life and career of Robert Mugabe
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Photos: Robert Mugabe through the years Photos: Robert Mugabe through the years
Was Zimbabwe's vote free and fair?
A tale of two Zimbabwes

"We will never go back on our victory. We do not know what is retreating," Mugabe said.

To the West "we are delivering democracy on a platter. Will you take?" asked Africa's oldest leader. "We say take it or leave it. We will never go back on our victory."

Some of the people that attended the event Monday had placards reading "Which Africa Observed Elections in Europe or America?"; "Come on, concede defeat"; "Obama: Zimbabwe will never be a second Chile"; "Thank you Zimbabwe for defending our sovereignty"; and "Zimbabwe will never be a colony again."

Tsvangirai -- who got 34% of the July 31 vote -- and officials of his MDC party boycotted the Monday event.

Why is nobody dancing after Mugabe's latest win?

Is Mugabe a classic strong man?

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