Just before his country went to the polls on July 30, former Zimbabwean president, Robert Mugabe, announced he would not support his own party, the Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF), in the coming Zimbabwean elections. He said he would prefer the main opposition candidate, Nelson Chamisa.
Mugabe was overthrown in an internal coup by his own defence minister, Emmerson Mnangagwa. While ZANU-PF is expected to win, in part because of its control over the state machinery and the electoral commission in particular, the results are expected to be close.
A recent Afrobarometer poll showed 40 percent of voters favouring ZANU-PF and 37 percent supporting MDC. Two months ago, the ruling party’s lead was a firmer 11 percent. About 20 percent of voters declined to specify their preference or said they were undecided. Afrobarometer estimated the opposition would need to receive roughly two-thirds of these votes in order to win a first-round victory. The opposition MDC has been beset by internal faction fighting since Chamisa took over the party and struggled to put up a united front.
July 31, 2018