Zimbabwe Sets a Short Timetable for Elections

from The New York Times..

June 13, 2013, By 

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JOHANNESBURG — Zimbabwe’s next election will be held on July 31, the country’s longtime president, Robert G. Mugabe, announced in a presidential decree on Thursday, setting up a showdown with the main opposition party over whether credible elections can be organized in just six weeks.

The truncated timetable raises new fears that the election will be a repeat of the disastrous 2008 vote, in which Morgan Tsvangirai, the main opposition candidate, won the most votes, but refused to participate in a runoff because of violence by the country’s security forces that targeted his supporters.

…….

An angry Mr. Tsvangirai told reporters in Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital, that Mr. Mugabe had no right to set the election date by presidential decree.

…….

The fight over the election date comes as Zimbabwe is slowly emerging from its pariah status. In March, the European Union suspended its longstanding sanctions on all but 10 top officials in Zimbabwe, citing the successful referendum on the new constitution.

Earlier this month, the International Monetary Fund took the first steps toward normalizing its relationship with Zimbabwe after more than a decade. The fund agreed to a fiscal monitoring program that could pave the way to clearing billions of dollars in arrears Zimbabwe owes.

Link to the entire article:  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/14/world/africa/zimbabwe-sets-short-timetable-for-elections.html?ref=world&_r=0

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