Mugabe Demands Recount

HARARE, Zimbabwe -- Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's ruling party demanded a vote recount -- and a further delay in the release of results from Zimbabwe's presidential election, the state Sunday Mail newspaper reported, prompting outrage from the opposition party.

The Movement for Democratic Change -- which claims its leader Morgan Tsvangirai won the March 29 presidential ballot outright -- said it would not accept a recount, did not want a runoff and pressed ahead with legal attempts to force the publication of the results.

"How do you have a vote recount for a result that has not been announced? That is ridiculous," said opposition spokesman Nelson Chamisa.

He accused the ruling ZANU-PF party of vote fraud, saying police had told opposition leaders that the ruling party has been tampering with ballots since early last week.

"These claims are totally unfounded, and they are only meant to justify ZANU-PF's rigging," he said.

The Sunday Mail quoted a letter from a lawyer representing ZANU-PF calling for a recount because of "errors and miscalculations in the compilation of the poll result."

The report came a day after Tsvangirai called on Mugabe to step down and accused the country's longtime ruler of plotting a campaign of violence to bolster his chances of winning an expected runoff.