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Zim expects boycott of C'wealth summit

27th November 2003

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Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu(PF) party expects some African members of the 54 national Commonwealth to boycott next month's heads of government meeting in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, after President Robert Mugabe was denied an invitation.

A radio broadcast monitored in Harare quoted a spokesperson for the Zanu(PF) saying several African states were expected to stay away in protest, and in solidarity with Mugabe, who has been in power here since the country's independence in 1980.

At a press conference Tuesday Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo said Mugabe would not be sent an invitation following his government's suspension from the ministerial councils of the organisation, consisting of Britain and its former imperial possessions.

Mugabe claims his suspension following the disputed March 2002 presidential elections has now expired and he "expected to attend".

The main government-controlled daily, The Herald, in its report of Obasanjo's remarks yesterday still insisted there was a possibility Mugabe would go.

There has been no formal response from the Zimbabwean government to requests for comment. – Sapa-DPA.
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