This is a universal rule: the quicker the elections are, the greater the controversy is. Zimbabwe is not an exception in this respect. The coming presidential elections attracted the attention of the world’s leading mass media outlets to this small African country. The center of the attention is incumbent President Robert Mugabe (78 years old), who does not want to say goodbye to the power.
The main competitor of the old president is the leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, Morgan Tsvangirai, as the observers believe. However, there is another competitor – a representative of the National association for the worthy management, Shakespeare R. Maya. But it seems that his major advantage is his name only. Maya’s candidacy was probably nominated at Mugabe’s secret support, who was hoping to deprive his major challenger Tsvangirai of a certain amount of votes.
Anyway, it is very hard to say if this tactics is going to bring any results. Tsvangirai as a politician was not born yesterday so to speak. Mugabe’s followers have accused him of a great deal of things. The culmination of those claims was the information, which said that Tsvangirai was going to make an attempt on the president’s life. There were not many people, who believed that, though, may be the peasants from remote villages did. By the way, Mugabe counts on the countryfolks’ votes most of all. That is why there was such a big commotion around the election laws of the country.
President Mugabe has tried to make the parliament of his country pass the amendments to the laws, which were good for him. There were several unsuccessful attempts made, and Mugabe succeeded in January of the current year. However, Zimbabwe’s Supreme Court considered those approved amendments illegitimate. Nevertheless, Mugabe has recently introduced several amendments to the election laws – the amendments, which bring so much pleasure to his heart.
Pursuant to the president's decision, everybody can participate in the elections – all the people, who were registered until March 3 inclusive (the legal registration of the electorate was over on January 27). The administration of the Movement for Democratic Change is certain that the time that has passed since the end of January was used by the government for including as much of its followers on the lists as possible, even including those people, who were not living anymore. For the time being there are 5.6 million people registered on the lists (the entire number of Zimbabwe’s population is 12 million). Forty percent of the polls have been moved to the rural area, the largest cities of the country, Bulawayo and Harare have lost dozens of them.
It is not known, if the ballot papers are ready for the electorate, their number is not known either. Furthermore, the administration of the committee for control of the elections failed to explain, why there had been only 23 people selected from the total number of 12 thousand candidacies.
President Mugabe is doing his best for easing his own life, and for complicating Tsvangirai’s life. Mugabe is doing that in a very open way, he even managed to upset the British premier Tony Blair. Blair offered to suspend Zimbabwe’s membership in the British Commonwealth of Nations. Anyway, that offer was not supported by the representatives of the African countries, who do not think, by the way, that the current events in Zimbabwe are something outrageous.
As a matter of fact, the conflicts in this African country show that the Western representatives of democracy are weakly perceived on the black continent. Mugabe has recently been considered as an up-to-date and progressive leader. Practically all journalists and scientists of politics were saying that Zimbabwe could be an example of race tolerance. The descendants of white colonizers have been living in peace with the African people in this country. But this peace lasted until Mugabe wanted to become a democratically elected president. At that time it turned out that there were a lot of problems in the country, and that the citizens of the country were quite tired of Mugabe. We are witnessing the results of this discovery now.
There are no doubts that Mugabe will become the president of Zimbabwe on March 9. Who and what can prevent his followers, who are in charge of the army and police, from juggling with the election results? The opposition is not likely to agree with such results. Will Zimbabwe turn to another country, that will be lacerated with the civil war?
Oleg Artyukov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov