Monday, April 18, 2005

Respecting the constitution 'too costly' for Mugabe and co.

The so-called elections in Zimbabwe passed according to the pre-written script. The regime obstructed the opposition from campaigning and denied them access to the media. There were allegedly some irregularities on election day but perhaps not widespread enough to have affected the outcome (though the nature of such misdeeds is that you can never know). The ruling party was declared the winner by the electoral authorities they themselves appointed. The opposition cried foul and filed legal challenges which, according to the script, will likely be denied in large part except for a few token ones. The opposition threatened to boycott parliament and contemplated general strike action but ended up doing neither (which led some in the opposition to call for the resignation of opposition leader Morgan Tsvangarai). Now, the ruling party has more than the 2/3 majority needed to rig the constitution in its favor... not that they ever showed scrupulous respect for the document anyway.

Jonathan, over at the Head Heeb blog, points out that the ruling ZANU-PF regime is doing exactly what everyone expected with the crushing majority it was awarded (not necessarily won). He cites this article from courageous The Zimbabwe Independent. Any member of the private, independent media in Zimbabwe is, by definition, courageous.

RULING Zanu PF leaders are contemplating extending President Robert Mugabe’s current term of office by two years through a constitutional amendment to hold general and presidential elections concurrently in 2010, explained the paper. Mugabe said after the recent hotly disputed election results he would favour having the two main elections held simultaneously. He said his party would initiate constitutional amendments to reintroduce the senate among other changes.

Jonathan notes wryly: Synchronizing the elections the other way, by moving the next parliamentary poll up to 2008, was dismissed as "too costly."

Too costly indeed... for dictator Mugabe and the cronies whose jobs and riches depend on him remaining in power.


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