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Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai dies at 65
Zimbabwe's veteran opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has died at age 65, bringing an end to his long campaign to lead his country. He had been seeking treatment in neighboring South Africa after announcing in 2016 that he had colon cancer.

 

Tsvangirai for years was the most potent challenger to longtime ruler Robert Mugabe and even became prime minister in an uncomfortable
coalition government for a few years. Mugabe resigned in November after pressure from the military and ruling party, and this year's election will be the first without the man who led the southern African nation for 37 years.

 

In January, Tsvangirai suggested that he would be stepping down, saying he was "looking at the imminent prospects of us as the older generation leaving the levers of leadership to allow the younger generation to take forward this huge task."

 

Tsvangirai came tantalizingly close to the presidency in 2008 when he won the most votes in the election. But the results, delayed nearly a month as Mugabe's officials "verified" the count, gave him just 47 percent, shy of the more than 50 percent majority needed to win outright. Tsvangirai boycotted the runoff, citing widespread violence against his supporters, handing Mugabe the victory.

 


First published: 02.14.18, 23:15