Robert Mugabe will stand for re-election

Monday 12 December 2011 10.47
Zimbabwe President and ZANU PF leader Robert Mugabe in Bulawayo
Zimbabwe President and ZANU PF leader Robert Mugabe in Bulawayo

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, who has ruled his country for more than 30 years, has indicated he will stand for re-election - saying it would be an act of cowardice for him to retire ahead of elections proposed for next year.

Closing his party's annual conference, Mr Mugabe condemned the current power-sharing government as a "monster" which should be buried.

Resolutions were passed endorsing 87-year-old Mr Mugabe as his party's sole presidential candidate, in spite of reports he is suffering ill-health.

Elections do not have to happen until 2013 but analysts say Mr Mugabe's supporters want them earlier for fear that the elderly president may not cope with the pressure of campaigning.

President Mugabe's Zanu-PF party formed a coalition in 2009 with the MDC party of Morgan Tsvangirai, now prime minister, following disputed elections.