The Economist reports on the situation in Zimbabwe:

The beating, kidnapping and killing of MDC activists has gravely weakened the opposition party’s local organisations. Areas that were former strongholds of ZANU-PF, the ruling party, which dared to switch to the opposition in March, have now been turned into no-go areas for the MDC. Mr Tsvangirai plans to visit the ZANU-PF heartland of Mashonaland but ensuring his safety there will not be easy, as his party has not been licensed to carry firearms or even radios. A prominent human-rights lawyer fled to South Africa this week following threats against his life.

In order to vote, those who have already fled the violence will have to go back to their wards. To do so, they will need help and some assurances of safety...

It remains possible that Mr Mugabe’s determination to hang on to power at all costs will strengthen the resolve of voters to turf him out. But even if Mr Tsvangirai once again defeats his opponent, Mr Mugabe is not expected to bow out gracefully. His wife is reported to have said that her husband will only allow someone from the ruling party to succeed him. Security chiefs have vowed not to serve under a president from the opposition.

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