Saturday, April 26, 2008

No majority for Mugabe party in Zimbabwe recount

President Robert Mugabe's party has failed to secure control of Zimbabwe's parliament in a partial recount of the March 29 election, results showed on Saturday, handing the ruling party its first defeat in 28 years.

The question is if Mugabe will accept this decision. Evidence, so far, shows him defiant.

The commission had ordered the recount after ZANU-PF accused election officials of taking bribes to undercount votes for Mugabe and his ruling party and committing other electoral fraud. A number of election officials have been arrested.

On Friday, Mugabe resorted to strong measures used in the past to keep the opposition in check, in what Human Rights Watch said was a stepped up "campaign of organised terror and torture against opposition activists and ordinary Zimbabweans".

The government denies it is waging a violent campaign.

Armed riot police raided the MDC's headquarters and detained scores of people in the toughest measures against the opposition since the disputed elections.

Mugabe, a hero of the independence struggle, accuses the opposition of conspiring with Western critics to end his almost three decades in power, which began with high hopes that Zimbabwe would become an African model of democratic and economic success.

Today, Zimbabweans face severe shortages of basic goods and an inflation rate of 165,000 percent -- the world's highest.

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