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Zimbabwe's Historic Choice: A Look at the Top Candidates



It's now a tight race for the presidency in Zimbabwe as the country goes to the polls on Monday. Here is a look at the two main candidates who are trying to lead the formerly wealthy South African nation out of the shadow of former leader Robert Mugabe, who resigned in November under military pressure.

PRESIDENT EMMERSON MNANGAGWA

19659002] Age: 75

Party: Ruling ZANU-PF

For his guerrilla activities during the freedom struggle, he is referred to as "the crocodile" and For years Mugabe's executor, Mnangagwa has been trying to be a reformer with pledges of A free and fair election after the past votes has been adversely affected by violence and irregularities. After being fired by Mugabe last year under a feud of the ruling party, the military rallied behind him to push Mugabe out. Mnangagwa has asked the country to abandon the past, but many remember his role as Minister of State Security during the Matabeleland massacre in the 1

980s, when the army killed thousands of people when Mugabe opposed a political rival. Mnangagwa has repeatedly declared Zimbabwe "open to business" since taking office, but a credible election is the key to lifting international sanctions and opening much-needed investment in a country whose economy has long since collapsed [196592002] — [196592002] NELSON CHAMISA

Age: 40

Party: Movement for Democratic Change

The lawyer and pastor was top opposition leader after the death of this leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, who had been Mugabe for years, as the main leader of the opposition , Chamisa now has the support of a coalition of parties, including one of Mugabe and members of a pro-Mugabe youth faction, which was quickly cleared of ruling party and government when Mnangagwa took office. Chamisa, a former student leader who was among the top six officials in the MDC in 1999, has pledged far-reaching economic reforms in Zimbabwe. He also pointed out the 35-year gap between him and Mnangagwa and told the Associated Press in an interview earlier this year, "I represent the new, Mnangagwa represents the past."


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