Thursday, April 3, 2008

Zimbabwe election drama continues

The future of democracy in Zimbabwe will be on the line Friday when longtime President Robert Mugabe meets with leaders of his Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front party to decide whether he should seek another term as head of state. Results of Saturday's election appear to show challenger Morgan Tsvangirai with around 50 percent of the vote, but possibly not enough to avoid a runoff. But Mugabe, who has led Zimbabwe for 28 years, also saw his party lose its majority in parliament to Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change. MDC claims its count shows that Tsvangirai received enough votes to avoid a runoff and fears Mugabe could try to intimidate voters in a runoff. Opposition parties claim Mugabe stole the 2002 election. Mugabe's popularity has plummeted in recent years with the collapse of Zimbabwe's economy, once one of Africa's strongest. The White House has expressed concern about the slow vote count and called for the election to be decided quickly. President Bush regards Mugabe as "a discredited dictator."

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