Mugabe Flailing in Zimbabwe

| Tue Apr. 1, 2008 4:06 PM EDT

Last week we wrote about how the very crafty and very despotic Robert Mugabe is in the middle of a potentially career-ending election. Voting was held on Saturday and the government hasn't yet released vote totals, but it looks like either Mugabe lost badly enough that the government is having a hard time rigging the results, or the 28-year leader has lost interest in ruling the country. (Or both.) According to the New York Times, the opposition leader in Zimbabwe is in negotiations with Mugabe's people over a transition of power. The Times cautions that "the situation could still deteriorate"; Mugabe could declare the election void, for example, which would almost certainly lead to violence. Many other news accounts confirm the Times' reporting.

Mugabe's hold on the country is clearly loosening. Military leaders in the country suggested Mugabe hold a run-off election but Mugabe rejected the idea, considering it an insult. As parliamentary election results trickle out, it appears that the opposition has won more seats that Mugabe's party. One African-based news outlet is already reporting Mugabe is considering exile.