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G-8 leaders reject Mugabe's election

The Group of Eight nations branded Robert Mugabe's election in Zimbabwe as illegitimate, promising to take measures against those responsible for the violence that prompted the opposition candidate to pull out of the race.

world Updated: Jul 09, 2008 09:15 IST

The Group of Eight nations branded Robert Mugabe's election in Zimbabwe as illegitimate, promising to take measures against those responsible for the violence that prompted the opposition candidate to pull out of the race.

A statement from the G-8 leaders meeting in Japan yesterday expressed "grave concern" about Zimbabwe and called for officials in that country to work for a prompt, peaceful resolution of the political crisis.

"We do not accept the legitimacy of any government that does not reflect the will of the Zimbabwean people," the statement said.

"We deplore the fact that the Zimbabwean authorities pressed ahead with the presidential election despite the absence of appropriate conditions for free and fair voting as a result of their systematic violence, obstruction and intimidation," it said.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown called it "the strongest possible statement."

"It shows the unanimity of the whole international community, reflecting the outrage which people feel about the violence, the intimidation and the illegitimate hoarding of power by the Mugabe government," Brown said.

"The whole international community is now not prepared to accept an illegitimate government," he said.

The G-8 leaders agreed yesterday to send a United Nations envoy to help resolve the crisis. But there was no mention of UN sanctions, as the US has urged.

However, in the UN's New York headquarters, Western supporters claimed enough support yesterday for the UN Security Council to impose sanctions on Mugabe's government.