From Joshua Hammer's dispatch on the situation in Zimbabwe:
At this writing, there seems little question that, without coordinated action by African leaders in neighboring countries, the chances of a fair second-round election are virtually nil. The Zimbabwe Electoral Support Network has been crippled by police raids and intimidation of its volunteers, and won't be able to deploy many observers at Zimbabwe's nine thousand polling stations. The New York Times reported that the regime has terrorized thousands of teachers, many of whom served as poll monitors and sided with the opposition during the first round. "The teachers are terrified," I was told by one Zimbabwean journalist.
"They helped to run these polling stations, and many had their houses burned down as a result." The army and police are expected to be deployed in far greater numbers than in March. And despite expressions of defiance, the huge displacements of population will make it difficult for the MDC to get out the vote. "People we've met in the hospitals have told us, 'we're not going to vote for people who beat us,'" I was told by a Zimbabwean journalist. "But the rural communities have been disrupted, and people may not be able to get to their polling stations."
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