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Robert Mugabe set to stand for president in 2018

STILL HERE: Robert Mugabe

ZIMBABWEAN PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe, was endorsed on Saturday as the ruling party's candidate in a national election scheduled for 2018.

The endorsement, which is likely to result in his 36-year rule being extended, was greeted with applause by thousands of party faithful attending the ruling ZANU-PF's annual conference.

The ZANU-PF party announced its support in the southeast town of Masvingo, where the party's youth wing proposed that Mugabe should rule for life with broad powers.

Despite the praise from supporters, opposition groups say Mugabe and his loyalists are out of touch with the nation, and Mugabe has acknowledged that some people within the ruling party have wanted him to quit.

"Let us stop fighting each other," he said, referring to the succession fights that have engulfed his party.

Mugabe, who turns 93 in February, has been in power since the southern African nation's independence from white minority rule in 1980.

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