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senate election denounced as 'political farce'
November 25, 2005
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe may tighten his grip on power
in tomorrows vote for the senate he resurrected, with the
opposition divided by a poll boycott and voters apathetic about
an election that one observer has called a farce.
ruling Zanu (PF) this year used its parliamentary majority to create
the new 66-seat body, which will approve or reject bills passed
by the lower house.
the senate will give the octogenarian leader another tool to cement
his control over Zimbabwe, reward political supporters and seek
to avert a split in his party in the face of deepening political
and economic crises.
Zanu (PF) goes
into the vote virtually assured of victory, thanks to laws that
guarantee seats for Mugabes loyalists and an opposition stayaway
call that has seriously weakened his only real political challengers.
is, for all intents and purposes, turning into a process of formally
endorsing Zanu (PF) candidates because the party has won the election
before the vote, said Eldred Masunungure, a leading analyst.
view is that this election is a farce, said Masunungure, a
lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe.
the vote will probably be marked by apathy among disillusioned voters
burdened by inflation of more than 400% and shortages of food, fuel
and foreign currency.
dismissed the US announcement of targetted sanctions against Zimbabwe,
released on Wednesday night. The government says the list of government
officials facing travel restrictions and an asset freeze is inconsequential.
Reuters, Dumisani Muleya
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