Wednesday, 22 August, 2018

Zimbabwe election: Zanu-PF has most seats, incomplete results show

Zimbabwe election results Could the opposition party win Zimbabwe election results Supporters of Zimbabwean opposition MDC Alliance party leader celebrate
Leonard Rios | 02 August, 2018, 15:42

Observers say it could be a tight race, but the opposition has said it will protest if their candidate is defeated.

This follows violence which erupted yesterday at the Harare International Convention Centre, where thousands of members from the opposition demonstrated to the Elections Command Centre as counting of the results was under way.

Zimbabwe's ruling party has won a majority of seats in Parliament, the electoral commission announced Wednesday, as the country braced for the first official results of the presidential election.

The commission has said it would announce the results of the presidential race, pitting President Emmerson Mnangagwa against opposition leader Nelson Chamisa, only after all the votes have come in from across the country.

A Harare-based political analyst with Zimbabwe Democracy Institute, Pedzisai Ruhanya, said the results released so far could be a reflection of the will of the people but were not flawless.

The European Union said the elections were competitive and freedoms were respected, but that there was a lack of a "truly level playing field".

"We have won this one together".

"You voted for total Change in this past election!" the lawyer and minister said.

But it said partial presidential results could be announced later Wednesday.

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"The more the presidential vote is delayed, the more it calls into question the population's confidence in the election process", said former Liberian leader Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the lead observer of a US monitoring mission.

But the dispute over the conduct of the elections and the subsequent violence has punctured the euphoria over the army's removal of longtime strongman Robert Mugabe last November and the hope that Zimbabwe might be entering a new era of democracy after decades of political repression and economic ruin. "If President Chamisa wins this election then the people of Zimbabwe will have their government", stated Nkululeko Sibanda, the MDC spokesman.

A man who was shot in the back by a live round fired by the Zimbabwean Army lies on the ground bleeding during a protest against the vote count in Harare. Fifty-eight of the 210 seats in the National Assembly lower house were yet to be declared.

The commission had said there was no rigging or cheating in the first national election since the end of Robert Mugabe's almost four decade rule.

The party faithful had gathered at MDC headquarters in the early morning and sung, chanted and held their hands high in a collective act of protest.

The ruling party has also released all its V11 forms - critical election results documents - to prove that it had not attempted to rig the polls.

He said: "We have seen how we have won in those areas including rural areas, we were leading, and now they want to hide on the Zanu PF usual manipulation that they control rural areas". His party says the election was rigged.

The opposition alleged irregularities, saying results were not posted outside one-fifth of polling stations as required by law.

However, many analysts have said they expect a win for Mnangagwa, a Zanu-PF veteran who replaced long-time president Robert Mugabe after he was ousted in a military coup in 2017.

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