Monday, June 30, 2008

What's a little voter fraud...

...among friends who live in glass houses:
SHARM EL SHEIK, Egypt: Unabashed by critics and taunting his peers to prove their own democratic credentials, President Robert Mugabe traveled to an African Union summit meeting in this Red Sea resort Monday, flaunting victory in a one-candidate election that his neighbors said did not "represent the will of the people of Zimbabwe."

The journey of the length of Africa was his first formal act after being inaugurated Sunday for a sixth term. The trip displayed his determination to take his seat among African leaders unfazed by those who say the presidential runoff election Friday was neither free, fair nor credible. The African Union's own election observers concluded Monday that the vote "fell short" of the organization's standards.

For their part, African leaders showed little appetite for public confrontation with Mugabe. Dressed in a characteristically natty suit and tie, the 84-year-old leader, once feted as a liberation hero, slumped in an armchair in a cavernous conference hall, using a headset to follow speeches that, in part, demanded negotiations to end his absolute power. When the cameras moved away from him, he was seen hugging fellow African leaders, The Associated Press reported.

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