, HARARE, Sept 17 – Zimbabwe’s opposition said Tuesday its members will boycott the opening of parliament by veteran President Robert Mugabe, maintaining that his win in July elections was not legitimate.
“Our position is that Mugabe’s election was not legitimate,” said the chief whip of the Movement for Democratic Change, the party of former prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai.
“He has no right to open parliament and we can’t participate in the ceremony presided over by him,” Innocent Gonese said.
Zimbabwe’s electoral commission declared Mugabe the winner in the July 31 elections, extending his 33-year rule by up to five years.
The vote was rejected by Tsvangirai as “a sham” and “a massive fraud”.
Mugabe, 89, is expected to address the first session of parliament at around noon (1000 GMT).
Western powers said the elections were neither free nor fair while African countries said they were free but would not pass them as fair.
The opening of parliament comes after Mugabe appointed a new cabinet last week made up of party loyalists including some who have served in government since the country won independence in 1980.