March 30, 2008

AN ELECTION REPORT FROM ZIMBABWE:

Lines were long at the polling stations here well before morning had unscrolled its first light. And when the doors did not open exactly at 7 a.m., voters in the impoverished township of Warren Park rushed the schoolyard gate, most of them desperate to cast a ballot to oust the man who has been president for most of their lives, Robert Mugabe. . . . Still, Mr. Mugabe is so often accused of stealing the last presidential election that many Zimbabweans scoff at the very notion of a fair vote. In 2002, reported results had challenger Morgan Tsvangirai piling up a big lead. Then, suddenly, the announcements stopped. When they resumed, hours later, Mr. Mugabe was well ahead.

At the moment, the opposition is claiming an early lead, but don’t hold your breath. But there’s lots of coverage, including reports of the various swirling rumors, at the blog This Is Zimbabwe.

UPDATE: More here: “Zimbabwe’s opposition said on Sunday it had won the most crucial election since independence, but President Robert Mugabe’s government warned premature victory claims would be seen as an attempted coup.”