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Originally published Friday, December 7, 2012 at 1:24 AM

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Mugabe loyalists converge for election strategy

Zimbabwe president's loyalists have converged for an annual party convention in the provincial city of Gweru to map out a winning election strategy to end the nation's four-year-old coalition.

The Associated Press

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HARARE, Zimbabwe —

Zimbabwe president's loyalists have converged for an annual party convention in the provincial city of Gweru to map out a winning election strategy to end the nation's four-year-old coalition.

President Robert Mugabe said in the state media Friday the convention should prepare for a convincing victory "that will leave no room for doubt." The longtime leader has said he wants elections in March, a target that doesn't seem realistic.

A year after violent and inconclusive elections in 2008, Mugabe formed a coalition government with then opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who's now prime minister.

Mugabe has been endorsed as his ZANU-PF party's presidential candidate and is expected to face Tsvangirai in the upcoming polls.

The convention is being held in a sprawling $6.5 million conference hall built by a Chinese firm.

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