The heated race for the presidency has pitted Vice President Mujuru against Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa. In early November, both candidates participated in a tense debate before an audience that included President Mugabe, accusing one another of misconduct and corruption, citing vote-buying and manipulation of provincial election results.
Additionally, tensions within Mugabe's Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) have flared following divisive provincial elections. In response to the widespread in-fighting, Mugabe has called for an emergency Politburo meeting set for Nov. 23. to calm the tensions.
It is unclear when Mugabe will step down from the presidency, an office he has held since 1987. Mugabe has ruled Zimbabwe since its independence from the United Kingdom in 1980, first serving as Prime Minister. His government has been accused by the United States government of violating rule of law, democracy, and human rights.