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February 17, 2011

Election Results Creep Out of Zimbabwe

So after over a month of waiting for election results out of Zimbabwe, the results are disenchanting. After all of this time one would expect to have results that would put a final chapter on this election. Unfortunately that is not the case at all. Although the opposition leader, Tsvangirai won 47% of the vote and Mugabe, the reining president for 28 years only got 43% of the vote, Mugabe may retina power. When neither candidate gets 50% of the vote Zimbabwe requires a run off election. Tsvangirai’s camp says that he won 50.3% of the votes and that the results were tampered with. Of course, Mugabe’s camp says that the opposition has tampered with the results.

Tsvangirai’s party does not want to participate in a run off election which, if they remain firm on this, would result in Mugabe retaining power. Of course, a run off election could result in another long wait for election results and further suspected tampering. Early last week in the British House of Commons Prime Minister Gordon Brown denounced the way that Zimbabwe was handling election results prompting other world leaders to take an interest in what is happening in that country. Now a week and a half after that there are some election results suggesting that the application of pressure from other countries may force Zimbabwe to straighten out the election fiasco.

Mugabe has ruled Zimbabwe since the end of British rule in 1980. He has been a controversial leader who incited racial hatred and violence between the offspring of the former colonizers and the black Zimbabwean population. Reversing roles of the oppressed and oppressors never works and has lead the country down a path of isolation and inflation. Tsvangirai has more democratic views that may help the country recover for the problems that it has faced under Mugabe.

Countries around the world should be applauded for their civil disobedience in this matter. A ship packed with arms headed for Zimbabwe was turned away by both South Africa and Mozambique. Important voices around the world are calling out for Mugabe to step down and for Zimbabwe to fix this election crisis. Countries can not exist alone in this world and if the international community continues to put pressure on Zimbabwe progress will have to be made. There are enough wars raging in the world and the continent of Africa surely does not need another one.

Hopefully the 84 year old Mugabe loves his country and the people that live there enough to step down and release this monopoly that he has held on the presidency. If he does not go quietly there will likely be a major uprising leading to blood shed and destruction. Surely Mugabe does not want that for the nation he has ruled for almost three decades.

Withholding election results is a sure fire way to get people angry. If there is a runoff election the world needs to apply more pressure to Zimbabwe to get the results out swiftly. Another delay is sure to send the country into turmoil.

Previous article: Zimbabwe Waits Impatiently For Election Results.

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