Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Will Mugabe Depart?

With a week before presidential polls in Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe is polling at just 20.3% - which is most likely overstated. His two opponents could split the vote and still block out Mugabe from the likely run-off (if no candidate receives 50%). Of course, Human Rights Watch expects - and observes - serious manipulation of voters and votes.

Will Mugabe's operation be sufficiently unpopular to fail to manipulate him into the runoff or into victory? His best chance to win is by forcing and faking his way to 50% in the muddled first round: then the opposition will blame each other for splitting the vote.

And if election results come in against him, will he step down? Or will he use the military to seize power? And will Zimbabweans have to endure another war?

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