Page last updated at 22:27 GMT, Wednesday, 16 April 2008 23:27 UK

No-one thinks Mugabe won - Brown

Gordon Brown at the UN
Gordon Brown was determined to raise the issue of Zimbabwe at the UN

UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown has told world leaders that "no-one thinks" Robert Mugabe won last month's presidential election in Zimbabwe.

At a UN Security Council meeting, he said voters had "shown their commitment to democracy" and a "stolen election would not be an election at all".

Mr Brown warned that the UK and others "stand ready to support Zimbabweans".

Earlier, Mr Brown had talks with UN General Secretary Ban Ki-moon, as his three-day US visit got under way.

The two men discussed the elections crisis in Zimbabwe, as well as Darfur and Kosovo, an aide said.

'Strong message'

But a meeting between Mr Brown and South African President Thabo Mbeki - seen as the key player in dealings with Mr Mugabe - was postponed until later on Wednesday because of scheduling problems.

Addressing the Security Council, of which the UK will hold the presidency next month, Mr Brown said: "Three weeks ago the people of Zimbabwe sent a strong message of their commitment to democracy."

The credibility of the democratic process depends on there being a legitimate government
Gordon Brown

He added that the UK was "working to ensure that the will of the people of Zimbabwe is upheld".

Mr Brown said: "No one thinks, having seen the result at the polling stations, that President Mugabe has won this election.

"A stolen election would not be an election at all. The credibility of the democratic process depends on there being a legitimate government.

"So let a single message go out from here that we are and will be vigilant for democratic rights and that we stand solidly behind democracy and human rights for Zimbabwe and we stand ready to support the Zimbabwean people build a better future."

Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change believes leader Morgan Tsvangirai won last month's election outright.

But this is disputed by the governing Zanu-PF party, with the full results not yet released.

Earlier this week, Mr Mugabe, in power since Zimbabwe achieved independence in 1980, dismissed Mr Brown as a "tiny dot in this world".

Economy talks

During his US visit, Mr Brown plans to meet presidential hopefuls Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and John McCain to talk about bilateral relations between Britain and the US.

He will also hold talks with US President George W Bush and Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke on global economic problems.

Gordon Brown interviewed on Good Morning America

And he is expected to urge Wall Street bankers, at a meeting later, to reveal their financial losses quickly.

The start of Mr Brown's trip was somewhat overshadowed in the US by the visit of Pope Benedict XVI, who was greeted by the president and cheering crowds on his first official trip to the US.

In an interview with ABC's Good Morning America, the prime minister was asked what he liked about the job.

He said he had had to cope with a series of problems, from terrorist attacks to foot and mouth and the global credit crunch, but added: "Every day you wake up and you know there's going to be a new challenge. And it will be different from the day before.

"But it is one of the best jobs in the world, and one of the most challenging."

He also wrote in the Wall Street Journal about plans for the British Council and American organisations to help anyone in the world who wanted to learn to speak English.


SEE ALSO
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Brown: 'Mugabe did not win'
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