A runoff election for president of Zimbabwe will be necessary, the Information Ministry said Thursday. A spokesman said results of the March 29 voting showed that opposition candidate Morgan Tsvangirai of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) had topped incumbent Robert Mugabe, but not by enough to avoid a second round. Citing unidentified sources, CNN reported that Tsvangirai's margin was 47 percent to 43 percent. The MDC claims Tsvangirai won outright on the first round and has rejected participation in a runoff. Official results of the presidential vote still haven't been made public, although it is known that the MDC won control of parliament.Skip to next paragraph
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Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was resting comfortably and planning an early return to work after an unannounced medical procedure on his heart Thursday, aides said. The test, which was described as precautionary, was performed at a hospital in Jordan and was the second of its type in three years. But analysts said it added new uncertainty to an already difficult peace process with Israel.
Over NATO and Georgian objections, columns of fresh Russian troops and armored vehicles arrived in the breakaway region of Abkhazia Thursday, joining the roughly 2,000 soldiers already deployed there. The Kremlin said the contingent would remain within the size allowed in a 1994 cease-fire brokered by the UN. But it accuses Georgia of preparing to invade the region, which has run its own affairs with Russian help since the truce was signed. Georgia's government denies the claim and has called for the Russians to be replaced by a multinational peacekeeping force.