I have to blog this right away, since it won’t last long. Sky News reports that the opposition is claiming victory based on unofficial results. Then the rub:
The electoral body said it would start announcing early partial returns at some point today.
The official returns will probably be a bit different. (Is Jimmy Carter there to give Mugabe cover?)
UPDATE: The NYT reminds us of the last Zimbabwean vote:
In 2002, reported results had challenger Morgan Tsvangirai piling up a big lead. Then, suddenly, the announcements stopped. When they resumed, hours later, Mr. Mugabe was well ahead.
UPDATE and BUMP: The Telegraph reports: Robert Mugabe’s defeat cannot be covered up. Here’s hoping.
The Guardian’s report is less promising:
Robert Mugabe was desperately trying to cling to power last night, despite his clear defeat in Zimbabwe’s presidential election, by blocking the electoral commission from releasing official results and threatening to treat an opposition claim of victory as a coup. . .
Tsvangirai [the apparent winner] made no public appearances, apparently out of concern for his safety. Mugabe’s spokesman, George Charamba, warned Tsvangirai not to declare himself president because that “is called a coup d’etat and we all know how coups are handled”.
Yes, I suppose we do.