Secret Ballot

Using the term secret ballot is a good way to describe Zimbabwe’s election; the difference from usual is that the result seems to be a secret. It is now almost two weeks since the elections yet no answer. Of course annulling elections has a fairly long and dishonourable history throughout the world. In a way this has been a particularly clever ploy by Mugabe. Violence might be incited allowing a state of emergency and dismissing the elections. Alternatively as time goes by people may be less disbelieving of a Mugabe win or indeed the need for a run off, which could allow for increased violence and intimidation.

The Southern Africa Development Community are holding an emergency meeting on Saturday to discuss the crisis; the regional power South Africa has ruled out forcing Mugabe to stand down though Jacob Zuma (possibly the next ZA president?) has voiced a different position to President Mbeki.

There is here a strange echo of Rhodesia’s UDI. When UDI was declared everyone expected something dramatic to happen immediately and when it did not life simply continued. Maybe Mugabe will simply sit this whole thing out and carry on being president without bothering to announce the election results? Unlikely but possible?