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Vol 49 No 6

Published 14th March 2008


Elections within elections

The presidential contest attracts most attention but the battle for Parliament may decide the outcome

There are four elections in Zimbabwe on 29 March and none of them are going according to plan for President Robert Gabriel Mugabe. The old mixture of coercion and patronage used by the enforcers of the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front is not working. Above all, Zimbabwe's disappearing economy and currency make it impossible for even the most credible ZANU-PF candidate to appeal to voters on the strength of the party's record. Although ZANU-PF has tried to keep control of food distribution and other forms of patronage in the rural areas, the economic crisis has gone way beyond that. ZANU-PF cannot find enough food to win over the voters.

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