The Zimbabwean sees some silver linings in the Rural District Council Election results. The conventional wisdom with regard to the RDC election results was that MDC suffered a drubbing at the hands of the ruling ZANU-PF party. True, before a single vote was cast, ZANU had already chalked up around a third of the 1500 or so of the seats as they succeeded in excluding MDC candidates on technicalities in as many as 500 rural districts where ZANU ran candidates unopposed. And the actual number of seats picked up by the oppostion among the 1000 or so seats they contested was probably little more than 10% of the total (complete definitive results will be published by the independent election monitoring group, ZESN, this week).
So where is the silver lining? For one, for the first time ever, the opposition succeeded in winning seats in the "Zanu-PF heartland" in Masvingo Province. Secondly, though ZANU won a lion's share of the seats, in many cases, the vote difference was small (the MDC spokesperson alleges that his party won over 40% of all votes cast). These figures, if verified (ZESN will release additional analyses of the results early next week including one that will look at what MDS would have won had the seats been awarded based on proportionalility of votes cast rather than winner take all) should be a heartening sign for the opposition and its supporters that they are making important inroads, despite the fact that they waged their campaign with a very meagre advertising and "get out the vote" budget. Read the article from the The Zimbabwean for more insights into the silver linings of the RDC elections--which are probably causing ZANU-PF leaders some sleepless nights.