People vote for change in Tonga, Zimbabwe and Nepal

June 6, 2008

- Alastair Reith

In the past month or so, elections took place in three very different countries, far away from one another, with distinctly different languages, cultures and histories. These countries did have some things in common. All were all poor, third-world countries, whose people live in poverty and oppression, and they all voted against the regimes and systems they currently live under.

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Zimbabwe elections – a vote for change

April 29, 2008

- Alastair Reith

Leader of the Zimbabwean opposition Movement for Democratic Change, Morgan Tsvangirai

On 29 March 2008, the people of Zimbabwe went to the polls to vote in the parliamentary and presidential elections, and on the future of their impoverished country.

There was world-wide interest in the elections and a great deal of media coverage. These elections were seen as crucial in determining whether President Robert Mugabe and his ruling ZANU-PF party would maintain their 28-year hold on power, or whether the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) would take their place.

The elections were marred by violent clashes between the supporters of various parties and factions, and were carried out in an atmosphere of extreme tension.

Official results began to trickle in on March 31. By April 2 all the results for the lower House of Assembly had been declared, with the majority faction of the MDC, led by Morgan Tsvangirai, winning 99 seats, Mugabe’s ZANU-PF winning 97, the minority MDC faction led by Arthur Mutambara winning 10 seats, and one independent.

This was the first time since the end of white minority rule that Mugabe’s party had not held a majority, and it showed the level of dissatisfaction with him that exists in Zimbabwe.

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After Mugabe, what next for Zimbabwe?

April 15, 2008

The following article is taken from the April 3 issue of the Weekly Worker, paper of the Communist Party of Great Britain:

After the Mugabe era

James Turley asks what MDC rule would mean for Zimbabwe’s workers.

On April 2 the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, which had been claiming victory since the polls closed, was finally confirmed as the largest party in Zimbabwe’s March 29 general election.

In a desperate attempt to delay the inevitable, the Zimbabwe election commission - no doubt under orders from president Robert Mugabe - is still refusing at the time of writing to release results for the presidential election, where MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai has certainly won most votes. Even if he has not passed the 50% mark, necessitating a run-off, it is clear that the era of the Mugabe regime is over.

Hebson Makuvise, the MDC spokesman in London, claimed that Mugabe will “unleash violence”. The claim is not simply rhetorical - Mugabe has used his control of the security services as a rough instrument in such situations before. However, all the signs are that Mugabe and his cohorts are preparing to exit the scene of their crimes, taking as much booty with them as they can manage.

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