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Tuesday, July 8, 2008

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US President George W. Bush said Monday he was "extremely disappointed" with Zimbabwe's "sham" election, as world leaders ramped up pressure on President Robert Mugabe to restore democracy.

"I care deeply about the people of Zimbabwe, I am extremely disappointed in the election, which I labelled a sham election," Bush said on the sidelines of a summit of rich nations at this mountain resort in northern Japan.

Mugabe's re-election on June 27 has been widely criticised. Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who won the first round but fell short of a majority, pulled out of the contest, citing a campaign of violence and intimidation.

"We have made clear, I have made very clear, that the result of the election is not legitimate," German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters.

Germany "does not exclude more sanctions" against Zimbabwe, she added.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged Zimbabwe's parties to restore the "rule of law" and said he would take up the crisis with African leaders.

Ban, speaking to AFP on the plane taking him to the Group of Eight (G8) summit, said last month's election giving Mugabe a sixth term lacked legitimacy.

"Therefore I urged that political parties in Zimbabwe should work out an arrangement so that they can really bring back democratic rules, the rule of law and peace and stability in their country," Ban said in the interview.

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