The Zimbabwe election for parliament and the president took place five weeks ago, but it now appears the final results will get around to being published. Actually, we will not be receiving the final vote of election day, but a subsequent tally that dragged on for weeks in order to assist incumbent President Robert Mugabe alter vote counts and prepare for another election. Reuters reports that senior government sources reveal the final tally indicates a 47% vote for opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai versus 43% for Mugabe. Since Tsvangirai did not secure a 50% vote tally, there will be a runoff.
Actually, Zimbabwe law only provides for a runoff if the vote count is challenged within 48 hours after annoucement of the final totals. Those should have been provided within 48 hours after polling stations closed. Technically speaking, the four week delay in providing final figures is in violation of the law because it is now too late for Mugabe to demand a runoff.
Regardless of the law, President Mugabe will force a new election. His thugs have spent the past four weeks intimidating those who oppose his rule, imprisoning opponents and sending fear into the hearts of anyone silly enough to publicly oppose the president. A runoff will be a farce, unfortunately, the nation of Zimbabwe will be the ones who pay the penalty for failure on the part of African leaders to protect their rights.