Zimbabwe election: Both sides certain of winning

Larry Hoffman
August 2, 2018

Mr Mnangagwa tweeted: "I am calling.for an independent inquiry into what occurred in Harare yesterday".

Zanu-PF won 109 seats while the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change party won 41 in the 210-seat House of Assembly, with two seats won by smaller parties and 58 seats yet to be declared.

The opposition believes it was cheated of victory by a commission allegedly biased toward the government. They also called for improvements in the counting procedure, saying the vote represented "a political watershed in Zimbabwe's history".

"We hold the opposition MDC Alliance and its whole leadership responsible for this disturbance of national peace, which was meant to disrupt the electoral process".

Police have invoked a strict security act that forbids public gatherings.

On Thursday, the streets of Harare were quiet as soldiers on foot and in trucks moved around, instructing vendors and other people to leave the city center by noon.

MDC members did not take the latest poll results well, as they went on a rampage outside the ZEC at the International Conference Centre in Harare, burning tyres.

"Are we in war?"

The opposition says it condemns violence in all its forms. "So I have yet to learn why they will be released last", he added, urging the electoral commission to release the results as fast as possible and for each individual polling station.

Charamba said the troops were deployed at the request of police who could not cope with the violence, and will remain under police command.

The opposition alleges the vote was rigged.

European Union observers are due to give their preliminary report on Zimbabwe's election later on Wednesday, two days after its first ballot since Robert Mugabe was ousted by the military after 37 years in power.

The ZANU-PF party of Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa has claimed a majority of seats in parliament, according to official results announced Wednesday. Results of the presidential poll are expected by Saturday. "No amount of results manipulation will alter your WILL".

If no presidential candidate wins at least 50 percent of the ballots cast in the first round, a run-off vote is scheduled for September 8. "If President Chamisa wins this election then the people of Zimbabwe will have their government." .

Worldwide monitors gave their first assessments of the election, saying it was conducted in a relatively free environment and was a big improvement over past votes marred by violence and irregularities, although they noted significant problems.

Riot police patrolling outside the Commission offices later clashed with demonstrators.

A presidential candidate needs more than half of the votes to claim victory. They believe the election has been stolen, and are demanding the MDC be announced as victor.

Armored vehicles have appeared on the streets in Harare.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres urged Zimbabwe's politicians to exercise restraint, while United Kingdom foreign office minister Harriett Baldwin said she was "deeply concerned" by the violence.

The deployment of soldiers and their beating of unarmed protesters tarnished incumbent President Emmerson Mnangagwa's attempts to rid Zimbabwe's derelict status after decades of repression under his predecessor, Robert Mugabe.

Its population of 13 million is struggling amid shortages of foreign currency, unemployment above 80% and lack of foreign investment.

Mr Mnangagwa took over the ZANU-PF party after ousting Robert Mugabe in a bloodless coup in November.

Watching the results trickling in from the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) in the early hours, it became apparent that the ruling Zanu-PF would have a majority in parliament.

The MDC opposition party condemned the army for opening fire on protesters "for no apparent reason".

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