The 87-year-old president of Zimbabwe has refused to resign ahead of proposed elections next year. Robert Mugabe says he will stay on to lead the country against what he called a Western crusade for regime change in the southern African country.
"Luckily, God has given me this longer life than others to be with you and I will not let you down," President Mugabe said at ZANU-PF party convention on Saturday , according to the Associated Press. At the convention, his ruling party confirmed him as its sole presidential election candidate.
Mugabe addressed 6,000 delegates on the fourth and last day of ZANU-PF's annual convention in the city of Bulawayo, saying it would be "an act of cowardice" for him to step down.
According to The Zimbabwean, Mugabe said elections would be held after a new constitution had been adopted not later March.
An election next year will end Mugabe's 30-month coalition government with prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai of the Movement for Democratic Change.
The veteran president has ruled Zimbabwe since independence from Britain in 1980.