News emerging from Zimbabwe is that the MDC will not participate
in a second-round run-off against Mugabe. Frankly I can see their point. If the poll does go to a second round there will be widespread violence, intimidation and ballot-rigging at the end of which Mugabe will declare himself the winner.
However, this is dangerous territory. For all the ballot-stuffing irregularities of the last poll, independent observers have put Tsvangirai at a whisker under the 50% needed. If that is the case, it would be unconstitutional not to have another poll. If the MDC insists on not taking part, ZANU PF could simply ignore this, and re-run the poll anyway, claiming victory at the end.
Tsvangirai is currently in Botswana, whose new President Ian Khama has publically stated that it is time for Mugabe to go. But a victory gained through illegality would not be a good omen.
Labels: Africa, politics, Zimbabwe