04 April 2008

Mugabe Concedes Defeat

In Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe finally conceded defeat in the recent elections.

"Mugabe has conceded to his closest advisers, the army, police and intelligence chiefs. He has also told his family and personal advisers that he has lost the election," Business Day quoted an unidentified source as saying.

Of course, it didn't last very long.

Earlier a ZANU-PF official said Mugabe, facing a fight for political survival after the worst election setback of his long rule, would contest the runoff.

Referring to the politburo meeting, a senior party member told Reuters: "I have no doubt the resolution will be in favor of a run-off, I have no doubt about that.

"We cannot just hand it to Morgan (Tsvangirai) on a silver platter. We will fight for it and we will win."

So, to prepare for a runoff election, Mugabe has his campaign working diligently.

Intruders ransacked offices of the main opposition party and police detained foreign journalists Thursday in an ominous sign that President Robert Mugabe might turn to intimidation and violence in trying to stave off an electoral threat to his 28-year rule.

Earlier, Mugabe apparently launched his campaign for an expected run-off presidential ballot even before the official results of Saturday's election were announced, with state media portraying the opposition as divided and controlled by former colonial ruler Britain.

This guy is 84 years old and must plan on living forever.  With everything he has stolen from the country, he could take off and pay some podunk country to guarantee he wouldn't be extradited.  What is it about people like this and power?

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission had not released official election results by Thursday, despite increasing international pressure. Mugabe was said to be pondering conflicting advice from his advisers on whether to quietly cede power or face a run-off, both humiliating prospects for the 84-year-old president.

Diplomats said Thursday's events indicated he might be considering a third option: declaring a state of emergency and suppressing the opposition.

Don't be surprised if he goes for what's behind door number three.  The trend does not look good.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, one of the 49 members of the politburo told AFP: "We had under-estimated the (opposition) threat, but this time we will properly strategise for the run-off, and we will get it, without doubt."

The MDC says its own calculations show Tsvangirai won just over the 50 percent of votes needed to avoid a run-off but is still prepared for a second round if necessary.

With inflation at more than 100,000%, unemployment over 80 percent, land that was supposed to be distributed to poor folks that could farm and instead went to Mugabe's relatives and cronies, and life expectancy dropping to around age 36, Zimbabwe is the country in greatest need for change... not the United States.  Is there a candidate we can send to bring hope and change?

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