MDC pulls out of Zimbabwe elections

The BBC has the story:

Zimbabwe’s opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has decided to pull out of the presidential run-off on 27 June, party officials have told the BBC.

The decision, taken at a meeting of the leadership of the Movement for Democratic Change in Harare, means Robert Mugabe will remain as president.

The MDC says the decision comes after at least 70 of its supporters have been killed in the run-up to the poll.

Earlier this week, Nick Clegg wrote in The Times about how the UK should respond to events in Zimbabwe:

In view of the extreme circumstances facing Zimbabwe, I urged Gordon Brown two weeks ago to warn Mugabe that unless his Government met the basic minimum standards for a free and fair election on June 27 we would work with our allies in the region and the wider world to do the thing that his regime fears: cut off access to the foreign currency that keeps them in power. This step could be taken straight away by Britain using the powers of the Exchange Control Act 1947.

UPDATE: This just in from Nick Clegg:

Britain must now work with the EU and the UN to draw up immediate measures to force President Mugabe out of power. We must liaise closely with Mozambique and South Africa to restrict electricity supplies into Zimbabwe, to impose a possible petrol embargo and a temporary halt of foreign currency remittances.

While these measures will hit ordinary Zimbabweans too, they might, if implemented swiftly, succeed where all else has failed to force Mugabe’s regime out of power.

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