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The Collective
Thursday, March 31, 2005
By Dr. Steven Taylor

Via the NYT: Zimbabweans Voting in a Key Election for Parliament

Zimbabweans turned out in large numbers to vote in crucial parliamentary elections today, at a time when President Robert G. Mugabe’s opponents appeared to be riding a wave of popular support that could carry them from near oblivion to a stunning comeback.

But as the opposition made final election day plans on Wednesday, there were hints that Mr. Mugabe’s party would not allow that.

Given that Mugabe is a thug and clearly has no interest in leaving power, I have a hard time seeing a real electon taking place here.

To underscore the questionable nature of the situation, note Mugabe’s idea of how to obtain legitimacy for the process:

To place a stamp of legitimacy on the election, Mr. Mugabe has invited hundreds of foreign observers, mostly from friendly nations like Russia, South Africa and China.

While it is true that SA has had a series of legitimate elections, Russia and China? Yeesh.

And let’s just say that the following does not reflect confidence in his party’s electoral power:

Still, Mr. Mugabe has seemed almost serene. While opposition party leaders barnstormed over the weekend, drawing tens of thousands, the president took a three-day vacation.

When a journalist for The Economist asked after the soporific Chivhu rally whether he could govern with a dominant M.D.C. faction, Mr. Mugabe did not miss a beat.

“It will never happen,” he said.

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2 Comments

  1. President Carter has already certified the results of the election.

    Comment by Steven L. — Thursday, March 31, 2005 @ 3:00 pm

  2. Elections in Zimbabwe are a sham…I’m not sure about your comment on Russia, perhaps they are not as bad, but China as an observer? Laughable…it is like having Hitler in the jury for a genocide trial

    Vic, BPO

    Comment by Vic Verghese — Sunday, April 23, 2006 @ 1:57 am

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