When Was the Global Political Agreement Signed and Why

Ambassador Machivenyika Mapuranga reported on the disputed 2008 elections and explained the resulting negotiations on power-sharing among the main political parties. He highlighted the success of the March 29 parliamentary elections and noted that all observers declared the election „free and fair.“ Parliamentary elections for the first time since independence did not bring absolute winners — defined by the constitution as 50 plus 1 percent of the vote, Mapuranga said. The constitution requires a second round, but opposition candidates withdrew five days before the second round date, sparking controversy over the election results, he added. As a result, the African Union, together with SADC, brought together the three main parties – ZANU-PF, MDC-T and MDC-M – at the negotiating table in 2008 and early 2009 to formulate a power-sharing agreement. After the electoral victories of the MDC-T, particularly in the general elections and the first presidential elections of 2008, and the illegitimate second round that followed in June of the same year, the resumption of SADC mediation in September 2008 led to the AMP. ZANU-PF has used its current monopoly on the coercive forces of the state to limit the implementation of aspects of the GPA that could potentially open up democratic spaces in Zimbabwean politics. Mugabe`s party, in particular, has refused to consider security sector reform for fear of unravelling the center of the party. Although there has been some movement in the creation of new electoral and human rights commissions, the opening of the media space has been limited to the print media, with the most popular electronic media remaining firmly under the control of the party. In the area of constitutional reform, amps § 6.1`s agreement to carry out the process under the auspices of a special committee of parliament represented a position in which the MDC undermined the process in order to try to make the most of the content. It is therefore likely that the content of the new constitution will consist of the compromised Kariba draft signed by negotiators in September 2007.

However, the discourse on human rights has also been constructed in a global context where, since the 1990s, EU and OECD assistance has linked neoliberal economic policies to the agenda of „good governance“ and political conditionality, where the focus is on elections and formal political and civil rights rather than social and economic rights (Abrahamson, 1997). In this context, it is assumed that elections will „broaden and deepen political participation“ and serve „not only as a cornerstone, but also as a key generator for further democratic reforms“ (Carothers, 2002, p. 8). Through state-funded U.S. organizations such as the National Democratic Institute, the International Republican Institute, and Freedom House, this dominant political perspective of aid to democracy is promoted, in which aid is directed to key political institutions such as political parties and civil society groups, „in the hope of catalytic effects“ (Carothers, 2009, p. 5). Much of the discourse and lobbying on human rights in Zimbabwe is built through this framework, with little analysis of political economy issues, the broader impact of global neoliberalism on local debates, or the politics of regional dynamics in SADC. [1] Moreover, despite the recurring problems of violence and accountability in the MDC in the citizens` movement, too little critical attention has been paid to this issue due to the strategic priority of eliminating the Mugabe regime.

The result is that there will likely be little preparation for the problems faced by other pro-democracy movements coming to power, namely weakly institutionalized political systems and the challenges of succession and executive domination that animate these parties (Rakner, 2010). Asked whether political processes could draw more on African political traditions, Mapuranga argued that, for example, a CODESA-type process would lead to an unnecessary and radical transformation of society, considering that the mechanisms for organizing multi-party elections after Zimbabwe`s independence were formulated during the Lancaster House talks. He explained that the objectives of the new government, as set by the AMP, are limited in scope and duration and will only remain in force until a new draft constitution is confirmed in a popular referendum. .