Observers Analyzing Whether Zimbabwe Election Was Fair

Mugabe supporters declare victory


Zimbabwe's elections received cautious approval Friday from two African observer missions despite allegations by the main challenger to President Robert Mugabe and a local monitoring group that the vote was heavily rigged.

The African Union said it had some "grave" and "serious" concerns, and regional monitors from southern Africa said that while Wednesday's vote was peaceful it was too early to pronounce it fair.

Olusegun Obasanjo, head of the African Union mission, said his monitors noted some apparent irregularities but that they did not constitute evidence of systematic tampering. Mugabe's supporters have rejected allegations of rigging and claimed victory. Wednesday's contentious vote has created fresh uncertainty in a country long afflicted by division and economic turmoil.