Zimbabwe Opposition Protests Outcome Of Polls Criticised By Observers

Larry Hoffman
August 1, 2018

Zimbabwe's electoral commission said it would say "sometime tomorrow" when it can start announcing the results of the race pitting President Emmerson Mnangagwa against opposition leader Nelson Chamisa, even though it said most of the results "are here with us".

The latest results announced by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission showed Zanu-PF had won at least 109 seats, enough for a majority in the 210-seat lower house of parliament.

With three seats yet to be declared, ZANU-PF had 144 seats compared to 61 for the MDC, meaning the ruling party achieved a two-thirds majority which would allow it to change the constitution at will.

The polls were the first since long-serving ruler Robert Mugabe was ousted.

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.

Opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) supporters walk towards the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) headquarters on August 1, 2018 in Harare, to protest against alleged fraud in elections.

Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his main rival, Nelson Chamisa both say they are confident of victory after Monday's election.

She urged Zimbabweans to disregard unofficial results not announced by ZEC.

Early results from the elections - presidential, parliamentary and local - are expected Tuesday, and full results are due by Saturday.

He added: "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".

Observers from the Southern African Development Community and the African Union will also deliver reports on the polls.

AFP reports there has been a fatality amid protests from MDC-Alliance supporters against news that Zanu-PF is likely to win the election by a landslide.

Chamisa, a lawyer and pastor, yesterday said results had not been posted outside 21% of the country's almost 11,000 polling stations, raising concerns about possible vote-rigging. It has five days from Monday's vote to release them.

Patson Dzamara, a campaign adviser to Chamisa, said the party had commissioned exit polling in the 10 provinces and they had a clear majority.

It followed a surprise press conference at which he stunned observers and called for voters to reject ZANU-PF, his former party.

Police officers armed with riot gear guard the entrance to the building where partial election results have been announced in Harare, Zimbabwe.

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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