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International Crisis Group Expects Run-Off Election In Zimbabwe


Last Saturday the people of Zimbabwe went to the polls to elect a new president and a new parliament. Although the opposition MDC has won a narrow majority in parliament, still, a week later, the final official outcome of the presidential poll is not known.

On March 20th the International Crisis Group issued an executive summary and recommendations on the Zimbabwe Elections. In it, It predicted that the election results were likely to be heated and disputed.

Andebrhan Giorgis is an ICG Ambassador and Senior Advisor on African Affairs in Nairobi, Kenya. VOA’s Akwei Thompson reached him by phone to discuss the current political situation in Zimbabwe.

The situation in Zimbabwe after the elections “pretty much bears out what we said in our executive summary.”

The executive summary had said: “84-year old Mugabe has the means to manipulate the process sufficiently to retain his office”, though possibly, only after a violent run-off….”

Giorgis said “we had quite frankly hoped that the mediation effort undertaken by President Mbeki, under the auspices of SADC, that delivered a set of agreed reforms…that these reforms, had they been implemented prior to the elections would have created a level playing field for holding free and fair elections.”

He added that “under the circumstances, although the paying field was not so level and there was an element of unfairness injected prior to the elections, the outcome has seen the inability for the ruling ZANU-PF party of Robert Mugabe to win outright…”

The ICG ambassador said “there is a need for a government of national unity to implement the reforms required to resolve Zimbabwe’s to resolve Zimbabwe’s political crisis, to reverse Zimbabwe’s economic decline and to get Zimbabwe out of it’s prevailing international isolation.”

Last Saturday the people of Zimbabwe went to the polls to elect a new president and a new parliament. Although the opposition MDC has won a narrow majority in parliament, still, a week later, the final official outcome of the presidential poll is not known.

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