Can foreign observers keep Zimbabwe’s election clean?



Foreign observers will play a vital role in trying to ensure a clean election. Missions under the aegis of the African Union and the Southern African Development Community are likely to whitewash the election, provided it is non-violent, as they have always done before, the Economist reports:

The key watchers are a European Union team and a joint mission from the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and the International Republican Institute (IRI). Crucially they will stay for at least a month after the election, when hanky-panky over the count is most likely to occur. The NDI and IRI have acknowledged “several notable improvements in the political environment and electoral preparations as compared to prior elections,” but they also lamented that “a number of significant opportunities to break with the past have been missed.”

Dr Alex Magaisa

In a forthcoming presentation,* Dr. Alex Magaisa (right) will consider the struggle to achieve greater democratic accountability in today’s Zimbabwe. He will assess preparations for the approaching elections and discuss the prospects for democratization, including possible post-election scenarios and the roles of the military and the international community.

“Tension is rising,” the Economist adds. “[President Emmerson] Mnangagwa, now 75, was [former President Robert] Mugabe’s long-serving chief enforcer, including during the outrageous poll in 2008. Does he seek redemption? That is the question.” RTWT

“Elections in Zimbabwe: Autocracy and Stasis, or Democracy and Change?”


Alex Magaisa

Dr Alex Magaisa

Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellow

with comments by

Alexander H. Noyes

Senior Associate (Non-resident), Africa Program

Center for Strategic & International Studies

moderated by

Natalie Kay

Program Officer, Southern Africa

National Endowment for Democracy

Tuesday, July 10, 2018
3:00 p.m.–4:30 p.m.

1025 F Street, N.W., Suite 800, Washington, D.C. 20004
Telephone: 202-378-9675


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