Saturday, April 26, 2008

Zimbabwe - Mugabe parliament loss confirmed

I was working on a post about how the election in Zimbabwe is being stolen until I saw this item on the BBC today. Things looked bad when the electoral commission decided to do a selective recount of 23 seats won by the opposition. But the commission has upheld the results in 18 of the districts in question confirming the opposition MDC party's majority in the parliament.

But the electoral commission still refuses to release the results of last month's presidential vote. MDC candidate Morgan Tsvangirai claims to have won just over 50% of the vote, giving him the presidency outright. Independent observers claim that Tsvangirai got just under 50%, meaning a runoff with President Robert Mugabe would be necessary.

Of course this is all speculation until when, if ever, the actual results are released. And things in Zimbabwe are taking an uglier turn. According to Human Rights Watch at least 10 MDC activists have been killed either by members of Mugabe's ZANU-PF party or by Zimbabwean state security forces. There are widespread reports of beatings and arrests of MDC members across the country. The situation has gotten so bad that churches in the country's second-largest city are opening their doors as sanctuaries for opposition supporters worried for their safety.

One positive note - the ship filled with munitions bound for Zimbabwe is now headed back to China after none of Zimbabwe's neighbors would allow it to dock and unload. Both the United States and former UN head Kofi Annan have been urging other leaders in Southern Africa to take a harder line with Mugabe, and to put pressure on him to give up his attempt to hang onto power. Turning back the shipment of Chinese weapons hopefully is a first step on this path.
Sphere: Related Content

No comments: