11-29-2020  12:12 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
MLK Breakfast 2021 Save the Date
By The Skanner News
Published: 21 January 2009

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (AP) _ Zimbabwean police called off an opposition rally in their capital Sunday, prompting accusations of political interference on the eve of a regional summit on the southern African nation's political crisis.
Opposition spokesman Nelson Chamisa said leaders of his Movement for Democratic Change had organized the rally to update members on their position headed into the talks, set to take place in South Africa on Monday.
Regional leaders were expected to press Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai to form a coalition government, as they agreed to do in September. The MDC refuses to govern with Mugabe until a fair distribution of Cabinet and other government posts is worked out and harassment of dissidents ends. Mugabe's ZANU-PF party and leaders of neighboring countries have urged the opposition to form the government first, and work out differences later.
In an interview Sunday, chief opposition spokesman Tendai Biti said the banning of Sunday's rally was evidence that ZANU-PF held his party in "total contempt." Biti, in South Africa for Monday's talks, said ZANU-PF's attitude left little reason to hope the summit would produce a breakthrough.
The Mugabe government's position was laid out Sunday in an editorial in the state-owned Mail newspaper, which accused the opposition of being "intransigent."
Human rights activists say Mugabe's government has stepped up its crackdown on free speech and dissent in recent weeks.
But a police spokesman says Sunday's rally was banned because of the danger of violence among opposition factions. Chamisa, the opposition spokesman, dismissed that as "ridiculous," and said police were acting on ZANU-PF orders.
"I don't know where the excuses they are giving are coming from," Chamisa said.
Zimbabwe has been virtually without a government since a presidential election last March in which Tsvangirai won the most votes. Tsvangirai pulled out of a subsequent runoff against Mugabe because of brutal attacks on opposition supporters.
The political stalemate has distracted leaders from addressing a growing economic and humanitarian crisis, with millions of Zimbabweans dependent on international aid groups for food and medical care. The government has been unable to maintain its medical and sanitation infrastructure, leading to a cholera epidemic that has killed nearly 3,000 people and spread to neighboring countries.
Under the power-sharing deal, Tsvangirai is to take the new post of prime minister. Mugabe, who has led Zimbabwe since independence from Britain in 1980, would continue as president.
The Zimbabwean Mail editorial Sunday accused the opposition of trying "to see to it that the September (unity government) accord does not see the light of day without them openly pulling out of the accord."
Biti, the chief opposition spokesman, said the opposition was prepared to compromise, but had already given up significant ground -- including accepting that Tsvangirai would not be president. He repeated opposition calls on Mugabe's fellow African leaders to deal with him more decisively.
Former South African President Thabo Mbeki has acted as mediator on behalf of the Southern African Development Community, and pursued a policy of quiet diplomacy. Mbeki argues confronting Mugabe could backfire.
Neighboring leaders have hinted they are losing patience with Mugabe, and a logical next step would be to move the discussion to a larger African forum. The African Union has a summit in Ethiopia at the beginning of February, and Zimbabwean activists are already gathering in Addis Ababa.

Recently Published by The Skanner News

  • Default
  • Title
  • Date
  • Random
  • Wisconsin recount of its presidential results on Sunday, confirmed that Democrat Joe Biden won the state by more than 20,600 votes...   MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin finished a recount of its presidential results on Sunday, confirming Democrat Joe Biden's victory over President Donald Trump in the key battleground state. Trump vowed to challenge the outcome in court even before the recount concluded. Dane County was the second and last county to finish its recount, reporting a 45-vote gain for Trump. Milwaukee County, the state's other big and overwhelmingly liberal county targeted in a recount that Trump paid for, reported its results Friday, a 132-vote gain for Biden. Taken together, the two counties barely budged Biden's winning margin of about 20,600 votes.  “As we have said, the recount only served to reaffirm Joe Biden’s victory in Wisconsin," Danielle Melfi, who led Biden's campaign in Wisconsin, said in a statement to The Associated Press. Trump tweets he will sue With no precedent for overturning a result as large as Biden's, Trump was widely expected to head to court once the recount was finished. His campaign challenged thousands of absentee ballots during the recount, and even before it was complete, Trump tweeted that he would sue. “The Wisconsin recount is not about finding mistakes in the count, it is about finding people who have voted illegally, and that case will be brought after the recount is over, on Monday or Tuesday,” Trump tweeted on Saturday. “We have found many illegal votes. Stay tuned!” Trump campaign officials didn't immediately respond to AP requests for comment on Sunday. The deadline to certify the vote is Tuesday. Certification is done by the Democratic chair of the Wisconsin Election Commission, which is bipartisan.  Drop boxes "illegal" suit says The Wisconsin Voters Alliance, a conservative group, has already filed a lawsuit against state election officials seeking to block certification of the results. It makes many of the claims Trump is expected to make. Gov. Tony Evers’ attorneys have asked the state Supreme Court to dismiss the suit. Evers, a Democrat, said the complaint is a “mishmash of legal distortions” that uses factual misrepresentations in an attempt to take voting rights away from millions of Wisconsin residents.  Another suit filed over the weekend by Wisconsin resident Dean Mueller argues that ballots placed in drop boxes are illegal and must not be counted. Trump lawsuits have failed Trump’s attorneys have complained about absentee ballots where voters identified themselves as “indefinitely confined,” allowing them to cast an absentee ballot without showing a photo ID; ballots that have a certification envelope with two different ink colors, indicating a poll worker may have helped complete it; and absentee ballots that don’t have a separate written record for its request, such as in-person absentee ballots. Election officials in the two counties counted those ballots during the recount, but marked them as exhibits at the request of the Trump campaign.  Trump’s campaign has already failed elsewhere in court without proof of widespread fraud, which experts widely agree doesn’t exist. Trump legal challenges have failed in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada and Pennsylvania.
    Read More
  • Pennsylvania justices also remarked on the lawsuit's staggering demand that an entire election be overturned retroactively. “They have failed to allege that even a single mail-in ballot was fraudulently cast or counted,” Justice David Wecht wrote in a concurring opinion
    Read More
  • The number of COVID-19 related hospitalizations also continues to surge with 529 people hospitalized — a 209% increase since the start of the month
    Read More
  • Of the 33,035 vehicle stops Portland police made in 2019, 18% were for Black drivers and 65% were for white drivers. White people make up 75.1% of the population, while Black people make up 5.8%
    Read More
  • Oregon wholesale tree farmers and small cut-your-own lots are reporting strong demand and seeing more people earlier than ever
    Read More
  • The police bureau uses a complicated methodology in reporting data
    Read More
  • Groups representing Oregon foodservice and lodging businesses had asked the judge to modify the governor’s order
    Read More
OHA Safe Strong final
Calendar

Photo Gallery

Photos and slide shows of local events