ASSESSING THE 2008 ZIMBABWEAN ELECTIONS

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Description: The elections were held against the backdrop of complete economic disintegration with Zimbabwe suffering from the world's highest inflation rate (the official rate at the time of writing stands at around 2.2 million per cent rendering the Zimbabwean dollar worthless), chronic shortages of food and fuel, 80 per cent unemployment and an HIV/AIDS epidemic that has contributed to a steep decline in life expectancy. The Background to the Elections The expectation in the lead-up to the presidential and parliamentary elections on 29th March was that Zimbabwe would witness another election typical of the late Mugabe period, namely, one characterised by the now familiar blend of state intimidation, the sub-contracting of violence to party 'militias' and wholesale electoral fraud.
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