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Zimbabwe president sends letter to PM saying vote will go ahead July 31

Zimbabwe's prime minister says has received a letter from the President Robert Mugabe saying elections will go ahead on July 31.

The communication is the latest development in a standoff between the two leaders over when to hold the long-awaited vote.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said Thursday that Mugabe should have shown "mere courtesy" by consulting him on the issue.

Mugabe was forced by regional leaders to form a coalition government with former opposition leader Tsvangirai after violent and disputed elections in 2008.

The longtime president he is abiding by a court ruling calling for the vote to go ahead.

Tsvangirai claims the lawsuit was instigated by Mugabe's loyalists eager for early polls so that they can take advantage of loopholes in the electoral laws to rig the vote.