Three dead in Zimbabwe as president blames opposition for election violence

01 August, 2018, 22:00 | Author: Charlene Valdez
  • DONE Polling stations officially closed

Opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) supporters started celebrating Tuesday after a senior party official said that the party was sure Chamisa had won and that if he was not declared victorious, it would "announce our own results".

More than 5.5 million people were registered to vote in an election featuring a record number of more than 20 presidential candidates and almost 130 political parties vying for parliamentary seats.

"The strategy is meant to prepare Zim mentally to accept fake presidential results", he said, adding that he had won more votes than Mr. Mnangagwa.

Now, almost 48 hours after polls closed, voters still await an official answer about who won the country's presidential election - and suspicion of electoral wrongdoing has gathered intensity in the capital city's streets.

The vote attracted a high turnout of 70% and was monitored by worldwide observers.

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Zimbabwe's ruling ZANU-PF party won the most seats in parliament, official results showed Wednesday, with partial results due to later Wednesday in the key presidential race.

Biti, Zimbabwe's minister of finance from 2009 to 2013, accused Zanu-PF of trying to "manipulate" the results, called V11 forms.

Each polling station must post its results outside after vote-counting, she said.

While the electoral commission has five days from the end of voting to release the final tally, the national mood is growing anxious partly because unofficial results are already swirling on social media.

She said she was confident there was no "cheating" and that the commission will respect the will of Zimbabweans: 'We will not steal their choice of leaders, we will not subvert their will'.

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In a tweet early Wednesday, Mr. Chamisa said that the electoral commission was delaying the release of the vote's outcome "to buy time & reverse the people's presidential election victory".

That would be required if no candidate wins at least 50 percent of the ballots cast by Zimbabwe's 5.6 million voters in the first round. They believe the election has been stolen, and are demanding the MDC be announced as victor. Otherwise, a run-off election will be held on 8 September.

Zimbabwe's police say they have invoked a strict security act that forbids public gatherings after security forces swept into the capital to disperse hundreds of opposition protesters angry over Monday's election results.

"A truly level playing field was not achieved", European Union chief observer Elmar Brok said, pointing to the "misuse of state resources, instances of coercion and intimidation, partisan behaviour by traditional leaders and overt bias in state media".

African observer groups said the vote was peaceful, orderly and largely in line with the law but raised concerns about bias of state media and the commission.

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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".

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