After the fall of autocratic ruler Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe faces a difficult choice between the stability of a transnational government or a potentially divisive election contest.
Zimbabwe's ZANU PF sees itself as having brought democracy to the country and will not leave power. Unless civil society succeeds in pressing for change, the 2018 elections will bring none.
Opposition parties in sub-Saharan Africa struggle to prove themselves worthy to skeptical voters who, unlike in Western competitive systems, don't trust them over former liberation movements.
The new forms of protest in Zimbabwe raise the possibility that the country's long-simmering crisis may have reached boiling point. The time could indeed be ripe for a unique form of politics.
Opposition parties have emerged at different stages of Zimbabwe’s post-independence history but none have seriously threatened ZANU-PF dominance.