Could Mugabe Actually Lose?


Either Zanu-PF is running a fantastic prank, to be revealed when the final "votes" come in… or it can't even rig an election anymore.

President Robert Mugabe's party has lost its majority in parliament, the Zimbabwe Election Commission says.

It says Mr Mugabe's Zanu-PF party has taken 94 of the 207 contested seats, while opposition parties have won 105. One seat has gone to an independent.

Results are coming in here, and surprisingly, the opposition's unofficial count is matching up with the official count. Matthew Weaver has been blogging the news at the Guardian, and international opinion is already turning to likely successor Morgan Tsvangirai, a union leader who's gotten very far without being specific on policy. But the South African papers aren't counting chickens yet. They're covering the mediation efforts by their county and by Tanzania.

With the opposition having already proclaimed victory in the weekend polls, his options are limited and all sides want to dissaude him from ordering troops onto the streets.

Key to any solution is finding a way to reassure Mugabe that he will not be hung to dry over accusations of human rights violations and several sources said Mugabe may be given some kind of honourary role.

If he ends up like Ian Smith, I don't know who that would satisfy. But he's 84: I'm not worried about the threat he'd be out of power, without the state doing his thuggery for him.