Poll published in state paper gives Mugabe outright victory

March 28th, 2008 - 6:00 pm ICT by admin  

Harare/Johannesburg, March 28 (DPA) A poll published in Zimbabwe’s state-controlled Herald newspaper Friday gave Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe an outright victory in Saturday’s presidential elections.
Mugabe, 84, would take 56 percent of the vote, compared to 26-27 percent for opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai and 13-14 percent for breakaway former finance minister Simba Makoni, who is running as an independent, the poll conducted by the University of Zimbabwe said.

A little-known fourth religious candidate, Langton Towungana, was only given 0.2 percent, according to the poll that was conducted among 10,322 people drawn from all over Zimbabwe.

The poll also showed Mugabe’s ruling Zanu-PF party achieving resounding victories in the House of Assembly and Senate elections also being held Saturday, along with local council elections.

The findings contrasted with a poll published earlier this month by the locally-based Mass Public Opinion Institute, which gave Tsvangirai a significant lead over Mugabe with 28.3 percent of respondents opting for him, against 20.3 percent for Mugabe and nine percent for Makoni.

All polls in Zimbabwe are viewed with a certain amount of scepticism by observers, who note that the climate of fear caused by a decade of increasingly repressive rule by Mugabe means many people refuse to participate or do not reveal their real choice.

Some 5.9 million Zimbabweans are registered to vote in Saturday’s vote for president, 210 House of Assembly members, 60 Senate members and hundreds of councillors. Mugabe is looking to extend his 28-year rule by another five.

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