Cry, the beloved country

Mugabe wins really dirty:

Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who won the country's presidential elections in March but fell short of the majority needed to avert a runoff with Mr. Mugabe, said Sunday that it wasn't worth asking Zimbabweans to risk their lives in the vote, which is scheduled for Friday.

Morgan Tsvangirai, speaking at a news conference, said he was pulling out of this week's presidential runoff because of mounting violence and intimidation.

"We will no longer participate in this violent, illegitimate sham of an election process," Mr. Tsvangirai said.

Mr. Mugabe's party, counting the decision as a victory, said Sunday he would assemble a new government that excluded Mr. Tsvangirai once the opposition's withdrawal was official.

The opposition's decision came amid pressure from battered supporters and foreign diplomats, who encouraged it not to participate in a vote that was almost certain to bring more violence and possibly a defeat orchestrated by supporters of the 84-year-old Mr. Mugabe, who has ruled Zimbabwe for 28 years.

The opposition is calling for members of the African Union, regional neighbors or even Western powers to intervene and broker some kind of transitional government that can govern the crumbling nation until free and fair elections can be held. But such a move appears unlikely, given Mr. Mugabe's wariness of foreign powers and African nations' reluctance to act thus far.

There were signs over the weekend of growing international impatience with the Mugabe regime, but it wasn't clear if they would translate into any concrete steps.