‘Make Sure They Count Nicely This Time’: The Politics of Election Observing in Zimbabwe
Dorman, Sara Rich
This paper examines the controversy surrounding Zimbabwe’s elections in 2000 and 2002. It situates these elections against Zimbabwe’s experiences of elections since 1980. It argues that the conditions for this controversy emerged from the institutions and practices that developed in Zimbabwe from the time of independence. At the same time, election observers – influenced both by criticism of earlier observation missions in Africa and international policy concerns – were positioned to make an example of the Zimbabwe elections. The Zimbabwe elections became an international crisis point not because of observer reports or electoral fraud, but because of the politics surrounding Zimbabwe’s relations with the outside world.