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July 7, 2008

Sham Election Results in Zimbabwe Stand

It looks like even though Zimbabwe, the world and Robert Mugabe himself know that the election results are phony, they will stand anyway. Somehow, in this day and age, the election results that come on the tail end of an election that was marred with violence and intimidation tactics have been posted and called fair. Mugabe was sworn in as president after the runoff election.

What can the world do? Mugabe has been sworn in as president after a sham election but what exactly can we do? If the world stands in protest we have already seen that Mugabe is not above hurting his own people by cutting off international aide. It is also rumored that some people were dragged from their homes and forced to cast ballots in the election. This along with the intimidation and disappearance of many people that supported to opposition makes the election results suspect at best.

Less than half of the population voted in this election. The opposition leader dropped out of the race because he did not feel like it was right to ask people to vote when their lives could be at risk. Mugabe won the election at almost a 9-1 margin which is very shocking because he lost the first, actual election in March. There was not a clear majority but Morgan Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change won the election in March. T seems unlikely that such a turn around would happen over just a few months. Especially when Mugabe began to use intimidation tactics against residents of Zimbabwe.

It is rumored that 90 percent of supporters of the opposition were murdered over the past few weeks. The Pan-African Parliament observer mission have denounced the election as have leaders around the world. The Kenyan Prime Minister is calling for the African Union to send troops to Zimbabwe to put this conflict to an end. Raila Odinga, the Kenyan Prime Minister is no stranger to faulty election results or the conflicts that come with them. He was awarded partial power after disputed election results in his won country.

Foreign leaders do not want to deal with a president that steals power and injuries his country in order to do it. Mugabe has made a complete and total sham of the electoral process and should be removed from office. However, because he has such a tight grip on the country and the support of many soldiers that fought for Zimbabwe’s independence I think that the amount of help the world can give Zimbabwe is very limited.

As far as the opposition leader who is hiding out in the Dutch embassy. He should try to get out of the country and stay as far away from Zimbabwe as possible. Even though Mugabe has retained power, I believe that Tsvangirai is still a threat to his rule. It also looks like death is the only way that Mugabe will no longer be the president of Zimbabwe. That seems to be the sad but true statement about the situation in Zimbabwe.

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