Mugabe Considers Runoff

HARARE, Zimbabwe -- State media gave Zimbabweans a hint of how President Robert Mugabe's embattled party might wage its campaign for a presidential runoff, with stories Thursday portraying the opposition as divided, controlled by former colonial ruler Britain and threatening land reform.

Mugabe's Deputy Information Minister Bright Matonga said Mugabe was ready for a runoff. The opposition claims it won the presidential race outright, and official results show it won the most parliament seats.

Mugabe was said to be pondering conflicting advice on whether to cede power or face a runoff, a humiliating dilemma for a man who has ruled for 28 years. Thursday, Mugabe made his first public appearance since the elections. He was shown on state television meeting African Union election observers.

"President Mugabe is going to fight. He is not going anywhere. He has not lost," Matonga said on the BBC on Thursday. "We are going to go hard and fight and get the majority required."

While the election commission has issued results for the parliamentary races held alongside the presidential race, it has yet to release any presidential count. Independent observers say their own projection, based on results posted at a representative sample of polling stations, showed that opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai won most of the votes but not enough to avoid a runoff.