Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Zimbabwe LiveBlogging/Comment

MDC Press Conference live on Radio 5

The MDC in what they say is their last press conference at this stage of the election are complaining about the delay in reporting the election results. The spokesman makes a low-key joke about getting the results themselves from elsewhere. He complains that the election is not "free, fair or credible". He says that the "political environment is not capable of producing a free and fair election". He says the results MDC have collected indicate that given an error margin of 2.4% in the presidential election Mugabe has 42.1% and Tsvangirai 49.4% He says therefore that Morgan Tsvangirai has won the election, in respect of "attaining the majority that is required" - ie no run off is needed.

Phew. I'm no good at this liveblogging business.

Last night, watching the 6 O Clock News, was perhaps the most positive political experience I have had in years - it reminded me, for a while, before the obfuscations and the ambiguities became evident - of those glorious days of 89 (1989 that is, not 1789). The sense of popular movement, democracy in a so much purer form than we are used to, of a bloodless uprising for freedom: wonderful. I think that the point the MDC were making in the press conference above is that the votes, the papers, are generally reliable: it's the counting and the collating and the organisation of voting that is bent. If so it means that the people have voted in spite of intimidation for an idea of freedom. I just hope, without trace of cynicism or negativity on my part, for once, that it really happens and that the people of Zimbabwe really have spoken for freedom and that they can now start to rebuild their country.

I don't know if you should pray for the results of elections...

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