Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe, who has been in power since the nation's independence in 1980 resisting pressure to step down, has been endorsed by the ruling party as its candidate for the presidential elections to be held in March.
83-year-old Mugabe was the sole choice for the party delegates at the Zanu-PF conference in the Zimbabwean capital Harare, allowing the president to seek a sixth term in office, which critics say will prolong the country's deepening economic crisis.
Zimbabwe is embroiled in its worst economic crisis, with rocketing levels of unemployment and inflation. Human rights violations and political unrest are high in the African nation. A thriving black market, fuel shortages, a deficit in foreign currency, and soaring poverty add up to the misery of millions.
Zimbabwe's official inflation is estimated at around 8,000%, the highest in the world, while unofficial figures show an even worse picture of the economy.
Mugabe's nomination was unanimous, according to party chairman John Nkomo. "It means this congress has fully and unreservedly declared Comrade Robert Gabriel Mugabe as the presidential candidate for next year's presidential elections,” the AFP quoted him as saying. Mugabe had the backing of all 10 of the party's provincial bodies, Nkomo said.
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