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A Resounding, Dubious Victory

by David Gura
Jun 30, 2008

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David Gura

Robert Mugabe, long-time president of Zimbabwe, is in Sharm El Sheik, Egypt, attending a meeting of the African Union, celebrating his "victory" in the latest "election" there. (A victory implies that there was a contest and an opponent, and participants in an election, by definition, have "the right or ability to make a choice.")

Although the six-term president has been criticized in the press by some African leaders, The New York Times reports that they haven't accosted him:

For their part, African leaders showed little appetite for public confrontation with Mr. Mugabe. Dressed in a characteristically natty suit and tie, the 84-year-old leader, once feted as a liberation hero, slumped in an arm-chair in a cavernous conference hall, using a headset to follow speeches that, in part, demanded negotiations to end his absolute power. When the cameras moved away from him, he was seen hugging fellow African leaders, The Associated Press reported.

We'll ask Heidi Holland, a journalist in Johannesburg, for her reaction to the news from Harare. She has written about Mugabe — and she has had the opportunity to interview him. What questions do you have for her?

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