Zimbabwe?s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) challenged President Robert Mugabe?s landslide re-election in the country?s top court on Friday, calling for a re-run of the July 31 vote the MDC says was rigged.

Lawyers for the MDC, which is led by Morgan Tsvangirai, filed papers with the Constitutional Court in Harare arguing the election should be annulled because of widespread alleged illegalities and intimidation of voters by Mugabe?s ZANU-PF.

?We want a fresh election within 60 days. The prayer that we also seek is to declare the election null and void,? MDC spokesman Douglas Mwonzora told journalists outside the court.

Zimbabwe?s constitution says the court must rule on the case within 14 days. Most analysts believe the MDC?s legal challenge to Mugabe?s victory will not prosper given ZANU-PF?s dominance over the judiciary and state institutions in the country.

Mugabe will be sworn in only after the case is decided.

ZANU-PF has denied any vote-rigging in the election, which Tsvangirai, who had served as Mugabe?s prime minister in a fractious unity government, has called a ?coup by ballot?.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission announced on Saturday Mugabe had beaten Tsvangirai with just over 61 percent of the votes, against nearly 34 percent for Tsvangirai.

While election observers from the African Union and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) broadly approved the presidential and parliamentary elections as orderly and free, the vote has met serious questioning from the West.

The United States, which maintains sanctions against Mugabe, has said it does not believe his re-election was credible. The European Union, which has been looking at easing sanctions, has also expressed concerns over alleged serious flaws in the vote.

?The person on trial here is not the MDC but Mr. Mugabe. Zimbabweans expect nothing but justice,? Mwonzora said. (Reporting by MacDonald Dzirutwe; Writing by Stella Mapenzauswa and Pascal Fletcher; Editing by Pascal Fletcher) (Reuters)


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