Posted at: 09/02/2013 7:35 AM
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Regional bloc endorses Zimbabwe polls

(AP) HARARE, Zimbabwe - Southern African leaders say Zimbabwe’s disputed elections on July 31 were "generally credible" and that the voters’ choice was "sufficiently expressed."

Bernard Membe, a Tanzanian government minister who led election observers from a regional bloc called the Southern African Development Community, said Monday the election was not as violent as the last disputed polls in 2008 and that campaigning was carried out freely. But he cited both the state and independent media for what he called biased coverage of the election.

Official results gave Mugabe 61 percent of the vote, but opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has alleged widespread rigging and fraud.

The continent-wide African Union has also endorsed the poll.

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