Sunday, 30 March 2008

Zimbabwe's democratic test

Zimbabwe held elections today. The south African state has been led by dictator Robert Mugabe for decades now, who has used his country's colonial past as an excuse for isolation from the West and extremist domestic programs. The octagenerian has, however, fallen out of favor with many Zimbabweans.

Opposition claims unlikely victory in Zimbabwean election
The opposition has claimed a win in this probably-rigged election.

Defying a government order, Zimbabwe's main opposition party released its election results on Sunday, claiming an early victory for their presidential candidate.

Sunday's announcement sets up a showdown with Zimbabwe's government, which will release the results of its count on Monday.

Leaders of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) have already dismissed the government's results -- expected to show a victory for President Robert Mugabe -- as rigged in favor of the incumbent leader.

There are concerns that if each side claims victory, tensions could ignite and violence could erupt.

At a news conference in Zimbabwe's capital, Harare, MDC leaders said their candidate Morgan Tsvangirai has won 67 percent of the vote, based on one-third of the returns, journalists inside Zimbabwe told CNN.

The party did not explain how it arrived at those results.

The Zimbabwean government has denied CNN and other international news organizations permission to enter the country to report on the elections. Read about reporting on the elections.

MDC Secretary-General Tenda Biti has accused the ruling Zanu-PF party of chasing its party's agents away from polling stations.

We'll see the full extent of the election as results are released tomorrow. Whether the opposition really takes power depends on Mugabe, who shows no sign of letting is country be truly democratic.

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