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Zimbabwe’s Ailing Economy and International Sanctions are Big Election Issues

Campaigns are in full swing in Zimbabwe as political parties prepare for the general election on August 23. Incumbent President Emmerson Mnangagwa of the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF), is hoping to secure a second term in office. His biggest rival in the presidential election is Nelson Chamisa of the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) party. The two were the frontrunners in the last presidential race in 2018 too. This time around though, they will have to contend with a once exiled former ZANU-PF minister, Savior Kasukuwere, too. The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has approved 11 presidential candidates in total, with each having had to pay $20,000 to appear on the ballot. To win the presidency, one candidate must get more than 50% of the vote. If no outright winner emerges, a run-off between the top two contenders will be held on October 2. Alexandar Rusero, a politics professor at Africa University in Zimbabwe, says only Mnangagwa, Chamisa and Kasukuwere have any chance of emerging as the winner.