HARARE, Zimbabwe — President Robert Mugabe refused Tuesday to give in to pressure from Africa and the West, saying that the world can "shout as loud as they like" but that he will not cancel Friday's runoff election, even though his opponent quit the race.
South Africa's ruling party issued a statement calling on Mugabe's government to stop "riding roughshod" over the opposition headed by Morgan Tsvangirai, who quit the presidential contest and sought shelter in the Dutch Embassy.
The African National Congress also warned against international intervention after the Times of London reported that Britain has contingency plans for deploying troops in Zimbabwe to resolve a humanitarian crisis and to evacuate British nationals and their dependents.
"A lasting solution has to be led by the Zimbabweans, and any attempts by outside players to impose regime change will … deepen the crisis," the ANC said.
Campaigning Tuesday, Mugabe, 84, was defiant a day after the U.N. Security Council voted unanimously to issue a strongly worded statement condemning violence against the opposition and saying the situation made a fair poll impossible.
"They can shout as loud as they like from Washington or from London, or from any other quarter. Our people … will decide, and no one else," he said.