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Vol 45 No 18

Published 10th September 2004


Zimbabwe

Mistake in the Movement

The MDC's election boycott is badly timed and sends the wrong signals

Just as an independent poll showed a solid gain in popularity by President Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front, the leaders of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change declared that they would not take part in any forthcoming elections. The timing could not have been worse. The AfroBarometer poll indicated that support for Mugabe had soared from 20 per cent to 46 per cent in the five years since the MDC was formed. Mugabe's job performance score had shot up from 21 to 58 per cent, though the economy shrank by 30 per cent over the same period. Support for the MDC's Morgan Tsvangirai stood at only 18 per cent.

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