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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Zimbabwe's March 2005 Elections: Dangers and Opportunities
Author:Kagwanja, PeterISNI
Periodical:African Security Review
Geographic term:Zimbabwe
Subjects:political repression
History and Exploration
Politics and Government
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10246029.2005.9627366
Abstract:Since April 2004, after the failure of inter-Zimbabwean dialogue or 'quiet diplomacy', which was mediated by South Africa and supported by key international players including the USA, regional actors including the SADC and South Africa itself, these parties looked to the March 2005 elections as a chance to end the stalemate. This suggested an opportunity to ease the attendant political atmosphere of confrontation and counter the risk of civil conflict in Zimbabwe. However, while, in 2004, the Zimbabwean government introduced some changes to the electoral system, many analysts dismissed these changes as cosmetic and essentially a ploy to hoodwink the international community. This paper questions whether the March 2005 parliamentary polls has given Zimbabwe another opportunity to resolve the political impasse. It shows that the repressive system of governance the Mugabe administration introduced during the 2002-2004 hiatus remained intact. State-sponsored political violence contributed to a narrowing of the political space and the repressive authoritarian system posed serious obstacles to the campaigning activities of the main opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). Zimbabwe's troubled economy became part of electoral politics and the scramble for the presidency opened ethnic and intra-ethnic cleavages. Notes, ref., sum. [ASC Leiden abstract]