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Zimbabwe wants me to run as the only acceptable candidate, saysPresident Mugabe

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe was quoted as saying on Sunday that his Zanu (PF) party and the people saw no viable successor to him for general elections due in 2018.

"They want me to stand for elections, they want me to stand for elections everywhere in the party… The majority of the people feel that there is no replacement, successor who to them is acceptable, as acceptable as I am," he said in comments to state media ahead of his 93rd birthday this week.

"The people, you know, would want to judge everyone else on the basis of president Mugabe as the criteria," he said.

Mugabe has been in power since 1980 and in December, his party confirmed him as its candidate for the next presidential election, expected in mid-2018.

"Of course, if I feel that I can’t do it anymore, I will say so to my party so that they relieve me. But for now, I think I can’t say so," Mugabe said.

There’s widespread suspicion Mugabe’s wife Grace might be aiming for the top spot though she faces bitter opposition in a faction of the ruling party aligned to vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa.

In the first of what will be a series of countrywide rallies, the first lady said Friday that Mugabe could be fielded in next year’s election as a corpse.

Mugabe, known for his combative style, said he agreed with US President Donald Trump’s "America for America" approach. "When it comes to Donald Trump … America for Americans — on that we agree. Zimbabwe for Zimbabweans," he said.


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