Friday, April 01, 2005

Zimbabwe, elections, and Robert "anti-Blair" Mugabe

Zimbabwe polls count under way

Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change has won nine out of the 10 seats in early results after Thursday's parliamentary election.
The elections passed off peacefully, but the opposition and observers said it was not free or fair.

As he cast his ballot, President Robert Mugabe dismissed as "nonsense" claims that the poll would be rigged.

ALSO READ: BSJ: Hunger makes for good politics in MugabeLand
UPDATE: MDC wins 25 out 29 seats, in its strongholds, loses Harare
I woke up this morning to the voice of Comrade Robert Mugabe - interviewed by Charleyne Hunter-Gault on NPR (she is also the CNN Africa Chief, based in Jo'burg, South Africa) - praising the "free and fair" nature of the electoral process curently taking place down in Zimbabwe. He was boasting, and prancing, while claiming that ZANU-PF - his party - would win in mountainous proportions, while also claiming that allegations of fraud were a fantasy of a group of Tony Blair minions that could not stand the thought of losing the election.

That Mugabe has a credibility gap, is - I hope - not in question. However, for fairness sake, he has on his side numerous of African elections results, that have been systematically contested by opposition... even in Mali, arguably one of the most democratic countries on the planet! Therefore Mugabe's argument may sound truthful to many. This does not remove from the fact that most elections on the continent are more or less rigged in favor of those in power. And from several accounts, it seems ZANU-PF continues in this long tradition of attempting to monopolize political power. The fact - as noted in the article above - that the opposition MDC party won 9 out of 10 seats is rather insignificant at this stage, as there are still 110 seats to provide, plus 30 appointed by the President. As always, with African politics, let us wait, and see...

1 comment:

Brian said...

As my Guinean friend, a modest schoolteacher, one told me: "Toute opposition est démocrate."

All opposition parties are democrats... at least until they gain power.

(He also said, "La science sans conscience sera la ruine de l'homme." A very wise man he was)

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