Zimbabwe's ruling party wins majority in parliament, European Union questions poll

01 August, 2018, 22:41 | Author: Angel Logan
  • President Emmerson Mnangagwa speaks during the final rally of ZANU-PF ahead of the Zimbabwe elections on Monday at the National Sports Stadium

Even though the election passed off peacefully, several water cannon trucks patrolled outside the central Harare headquarters of the MDC as its red-shirted supporters danced in the streets.

"We are however seriously concerned about evidence of interference... there is a deliberate delay in announcing the results. This delay is totally unacceptable", Biti added.

The polls - the first since autocratic president Robert Mugabe was forced out by a brief military takeover in November - had offered Zimbabwe the chance of turning the page on a brutal chapter of its past.

"The information from our reps on the ground is extremely positive!"

Biti's statement came as Zec chairperson Priscilla Chigumba delayed the initial announcement of the incoming results by almost two hours, and later announced results from seven House of Assembly constituencies.

Analysts have said it was unclear whether the country's generals, who ousted Mugabe and ushered Mnangagwa into office, would accept a win by the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

The US embassy said in a statement: "We urge leaders of all parties to call for calm..." "It is a very sensitive moment". "The presidential results were counted first in the polling stations therefore I have still to learn why it will be published last".

Zimbabwe has a three-tier election system; local authority, parliamentary and presidential.

Some voters were also turned away as their names were not on the voter's roll despite having registered. "We won the popular vote (and) will defend it", Chamisa said on Twitter.

It called for any aggrieved candidates to "refrain from any form of violence".

European Union observers are expected to give their report on Zimbabwe's presidential election Wednesday as the country waits impatiently for results of the first vote since Robert Mugabe was ousted after 37 years in power.

Before the violence, EU Chief Observer Elmar Brok said he did not yet know if the shortcomings would have a material effect on the outcome of the vote, but criticized the electoral commission for being at times "one-sided".

Election observers from the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) bloc said the vote was peaceful and orderly and opened the door to strengthen the country's democracy.

Liberia's former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who was monitoring the poll on behalf of the US-based National Democratic Institute, told the BBC that Monday's long queues showed Zimbabweans were enthusiastic about voting, without any kind of repression.

But Chamisa, 40, a lawyer and pastor who performed strongly on the campaign trail, sought to tap into the youth and urban vote.

"The Commission would like to advice that we will announce the results as they come in and all stakeholders should therefore, be reminded that it is unlawful to announce results because it is a direct contravention of Section 66 subsection (a) Subsection (b) of the Electoral Act".

Whoever wins will face a mass unemployment crisis and an economy shattered by the Mugabe-era seizure of white-owned farms, the collapse of agriculture, hyperinflation and an exodus of investment.

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