Friday, 19 October, 2018

Tense count as Zimbabwe opposition claim election victory

Chamisa Nelson Chamisa is MDC Alliance’s candidate
Charlie Simmons | 01 August, 2018, 21:01

"The results show beyond reasonable doubt that we have won the election and that the next president of Zimbabwe is Nelson Chamisa", said Biti, "We are however seriously concerned about evidence of interference... there is a deliberate delay in announcing the results".

The observers also questioned delays in releasing the results of the presidential contest in Zimbabwe's first election since Robert Mugabe was forced to resign following a de facto coup in November after almost 40 years in power.

The MDC also questioned the pace of releasing results from the presidential vote.

Electoral Commission Priscilla Chigumba told reporters that "the atmosphere has remained peaceful" and the commission has not received any major complaints about how the election was conducted.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission said it would start announcing results for the presidential race from 10.30 GMT.

"The results are biased, trying to give the impression that ZANU has won", said Lawrence Maguranyi, 21, an MDC supporter and university student protesting at the party headquarters.

By Wednesday, he was declaring victory, thanking his supporters and saying his party has won the popular vote, without offering proof.

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.

Voters in Zimbabwe traditionally pick a presidential candidate based on their party affiliation and the trend in the parliamentary election was expected to continue when results for the president are announced this week.

Zanu PF United Kingdom branch chairperson, Nick Mangwana has already congratulated his party Zanu PF for attaining majority of National Assembly seats, with 72 % of declared by the ZEC.

Former President of Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe resigned after 37 years in office
Former President of Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe resigned after 37 years in office

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.

A presidential candidate needs more than 50% of the vote to win outright.

The party, which has been in power since independence in 1980, has been accused of rigging previous elections to keep Mr Mugabe in office.

Chamisa claimed in a tweet on Wednesday morning that the ZEC "seeks to release results to buy time & reverse the people's presidential election victory".

European Union (EU) and U.S. election monitors have been allowed into the country for the first time in 16 years to assess whether the elections are free and fair.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission is by law given up to five days to release the results.

MDC Alliance youths are engaged in running battles with Zimbabwe Army and Police in Harare, accusing ZEC and Zanu PF of vote manipulation.

Mugabe was later be deposed as leader of ZANU PF and replaced with Emmerson Mnangagwa.

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

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