Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Zimbabwe's rivals neck and neck

People in Zimbabwe are beginning to question why the official results of Saturday's elections have not yet been announced. The opposition party - Movement for Democratic Change, led by their presidential candidate Morgan Tsvangirai - believes that he has won and claim the delay is a chance for current president Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party to steal the election.

The whole thing is eerily similar to the recent elections in Kenya - the opposition at first claimed victory, there was then an unexplained delay in announcing the election results, until finally the president emerged with a slim victory.

Mugabe has led Zimbabwe for 28 years, but has resorted to increasingly heavy-handed tactics to stay in power in recent years. And questionable reforms put forward by Mugabe have wrecked Zimbabwe's economy - the country now has the world's highest inflation rate - over 100,000% - and the Zimbabwean dollar is practically useless.

Unofficial results by the Zimbabwe Election Support Network give Tsvangirai 49% of the vote, to 42% for Mugabe. If these results prove true, a run-off election will need to be held in three weeks.
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