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Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai accused the rival party of President Robert Mugabe of planning to cheat in next week’s election, and questioned the fitness of the African Union’s top official to monitor it fairly. Tsvangirai told reporters on Friday he was ‘very bullish’ about defeating Mugabe at his third attempt, but made clear his unease about the conduct and monitoring of the July 31 election.
Under pressure from France and other Western powers, Mali held a presidential election on Sunday that some observers said the country was not ready for and that risked excluding thousands of its citizens. Voting went off peacefully, nonetheless, in an election that Mali’s numerous donors deemed crucial to restoring the country’s stability after more than a year of turmoil: an Islamist takeover in the desert north in the spring of 2012; a military coup in the capital; French military intervention to forestall Islamist advances in January; and the flight of nearly 200,000 inhabitants beyond Mali’s borders.
The situation in Libya remains troubled. A provisional parliament elected in the country’s first democratic vote has been paralyzed by infighting and intimidated by outside forces, including the unaccountable militias that are Libya’s biggest problem. This month, however, the assembly managed to move the country a step closer to stability by approving a law for the election of a constituent assembly that will prepare a new constitution.