Zimbabwe election: Zanu-PF gets most seats, provisional results show

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Zimbabwe’s ruling Zanu-PF party has won the most seats in parliament, according to incomplete official results.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s party is poised to win a substantial parliamentary majority in Monday’s poll – the first elections since long-serving ruler Robert Mugabe was ousted.

The result of the presidential vote is not yet known.

Earlier, the opposition MDC Alliance said that vote had been rigged and that its candidate Nelson Chamisa had won.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) has announced 110 seats for Zanu-PF so far, and 41 for MDC Alliance, ZBC state media reported. There are 210 seats in the National Assembly’s lower house.

More than five million people were registered to vote – with a high turnout of 70%.

State broadcaster ZBC reported that the electoral commission would announce the presidential results at 12:30 local time (10:30 GMT). The press conference has started, with the remaining parliamentary results being read out.

A unit of riot police has been deployed at the electoral commission headquarters.

A presidential candidate needs more than 50% of the vote to win outright. Otherwise, a run-off election will be held on 8 September.

What are election observers saying?
The African Union mission has said the elections “took place in a very peaceful environment” and “were highly competitive”.

It added that it could not confirm opposition parties’ complaints of vote-buying, intimidation by the state and bias by traditional leaders, and its impact on voting.

A preliminary report by the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) observers says that the elections were largely peaceful and conducted in accordance with the law.

Its representative, Angola’s Foreign Minister, Manuel Domingos Augusto, called the poll “a political watershed in Zimbabwe’s history” that would lead to “consolidation of democracy”.

Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) praised the electoral commission for using Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) kits, saying it reduced the possibility of multiple voting.

The European Union (EU) assessed that there was an “improved political climate, but un-level playing field and lack of trust”.

It said it had observed several problems, including media bias, voter intimidation and mistrust in the electoral commission. The mission also questioned delays in releasing the presidential results.

The US election monitoring team is expected to issue its report later on Wednesday.

What are the parties saying?
Zimbabwe’s main opposition has said Mr. Chamisa won the presidential election, sparking street celebrations by supporters on Tuesday.

The MDC Alliance said the ruling Zanu-PF party was attempting to rig the vote to allow President Mnangagwa to win, and the delay in releasing official results was unacceptable.

MDC Alliance’s Tendai Biti said there was a clear attempt by Zanu-PF to interfere “with the people’s will” and warned the party not to “plunge Zimbabwe into chaos”.

However, Douglas Mwonzora, a top MDC Alliance official, told the BBC’s Andrew Harding that the endorsement on Sunday of their candidate by Mr. Mugabe had cost the party votes. He also alleged that the ruling party had bribed voters in rural areas.

A Zanu-PF spokesman dismissed the opposition’s allegations of interference, telling the BBC he had “no clue” what Mr. Biti was talking about.

Home Affairs Minister Obert Mpofu said those who violated election rules by prematurely declaring victory risked incurring the “wrath of the law”.

Meanwhile, President Mnangagwa has tweeted that he was “positive” about the results and urged Zimbabweans to patiently wait for the final announcement.

 

Source: BBC

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