Friday, April 04, 2008

Mugabe's Foes win

from nytimes

— President Robert G. Mugabe and his party have lost control of the nation’s Parliament, official election returns showed Wednesday,...Morgan Tsvangirai announced its own final tally, proclaiming victory with 50.3 percent of the vote to Mr. Mugabe’s 43.8 percent — just barely enough to avoid a runoff.

Zimbabwe now waits to see if the official count matches the opposition’s, knowing it would not require a very heavy thumb on the scale to force another round of voting three weeks from now....

There were signs that Mr. Mugabe had endorsed a second vote...

But the presidency remains another matter. A businessman with close connections to the party hierarchy, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Mr. Mugabe had met Tuesday evening first with the chiefs of military and intelligence and then with top members of his cabinet and the party presidium.

“They urged him to go to the bush,” the businessman said, meaning that in a runoff the party would employ tactics of intimidation and bloodshed that had worked well in earlier campaigns, especially in rural areas that could be closed off to opposition candidates....

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