27 Jun 2008

Forced-March to the Polls in Zimbabwe

The world is unlikely to recognize the result of Zimbabwe's single-candidate runoff election, and many voters will cast a ballot simply because they fear the painful consequences of refusing to do so. But as of late Thursday, all signs were that Robert Mugabe's regime will stage an electoral farce on Friday. The runoff was necessitated by the fact that Mugabe's electoral commission declared that the incumbent had finished second in the March 29 presidential vote, but that the man who won that race — opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai — had fallen just short of a majority. But the campaign of systematic violence and repression against his Movement for Democratic Change, and the regime's repeatedly insistence that it will remain in power regardless of the election's outcome, prompted Tsvangirai to withdraw his candidacy. TIME