The provisional results of the voting have been published in Zimbabwe. As it was expected, incumbent president Robert Mugabe won the election. According to the statistics, 56% of the voters supported Mugabe, while his rival Morgan Tsvangirai received 41% of the vote. The remaining 3% went to Shakespeare Moyo. A bit more than 3 million people of a total of 5 million voted before the polls closed. The election lasted for three days. The opposition insisted that one more day is should be appropriated for the election, but Zimbabwe’s Supreme Court rejected the claim.
The very course of the election revealed that Tsvangirai would not win the election. The number of election centers was not sufficient, and some people had even to stand in long lines or to spend a night at the election center to vote. The opposition’s observers were not allowed to observe the counting commissions in order to control the vote counting.
Thus, a conclusion can be drawn: Mugabe became the president only due to falsification of the voting results. Another question arises at that: could it happen the other way? Certainly, it could, but a number of important measures would have been needed for this purpose. Foreign monitors and the opposition’s representatives would have been needed for the election, everything necessary for the steady work of the election centers would have been needed, etc. None of these conditions were observed. The result is distressing: the election in Zimbabwe turned out to be a mere farce, nothing more.
What is to happen next? The conflict between the newly-elected president and the opposition is sure to develop. Morgan Tsvangirai has already declared his intention the voting results in court. He will hardly succeed with it, but he looks rather bellicose now.
Some members of the British Commonwealth (Zimbabwe is also a member of the Commonwealth) have already said that the African state is to be excluded from the organization. The idea is actively supported by non-African countries mostly. Representatives of the African states will try to resist to the uttermost, because of apprehension of creating a precedent. Indeed, practically every African country is experiencing the same problems as Mugabe in Zimbabwe.
So, congratulations to Robert Mugabe on his victory! He is in for great problems: a lingering economic crisis, prosperous corruption, and raging crime. It is not clear how the problems are to be solved. Mugabe has no solutions to the problems. He has managed to preserve his power, but will he be happy with it later?
Oleg Artyukov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Maria Gousseva
Read the original in Russian: http://www.pravda.ru/main/2002/03/13/38178.html