Friday, 17 August, 2018

Riots shake Zimbabwe capital Harare as election results delayed

Zimbabwe election results Could the opposition party win Zimbabwe election results Supporters of Zimbabwean opposition MDC Alliance party leader celebrate
Gerardo Duncan | 02 August, 2018, 15:36

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) has so far announced victory in 140 seats for Zanu-PF, with 58 for the MDC Alliance, ZBC state media reported.

HARARE, Zimbabwe-The party of former President Robert Mugabe took the majority of seats in Zimbabwe's parliamentary elections, officials said, but European and US observers expressed reservations about the vote and tensions on the streets of the capital mounted.

Once again, they had lost the battle for control of parliament and there seemed little chance that Nelson Chamisa - their charismatic party leader - could claim the presidency.

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

As Zimbabwe awaits the final result of the presidential election, both the MCD Alliance and ZANU-PF are confident of success.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa meanwhile said he had been talking to opposition leader Nelson Chamisa to try to defuse tension after clashes on the streets of Harare in which troops opened fire on opposition demonstrators, killing three.

Chamisa, 40, and Mnangagwa, 75, were the main contenders in Monday's vote, the first since Robert Mugabe was forced to resign after a de facto coup in November after almost 40 years in power.

In Harare, the contrast could not be stronger with November, when hundreds of thousands filled the streets, hugging soldiers and celebrating their role in ousting 94-year-old Mugabe, the only leader Zimbabwe had known since independence in 1980. "We won the popular vote & will defend it", Mr. Chamisa said.

Mr Mnangagwa called for calm in a post on Twitter while results were collected.

A presidential poll will be held on Saturday, September 8, if a candidate does not secure more than 50% of the vote, but it will probably take a couple of days before the results of the presidential poll are declared.

One of the people who was killed by bullets sprayed by the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) was identified by the public on social media as a local shop owner who had just closed her store and was walking to her auto.

The EU mission also said it would deliver a more detailed assessment of how the election results are handled and announced at a later stage.

That omission gave room for the electoral commission, which ZESN and the opposition have accused of bias, to manipulate the results in favour of Mnangagwa and the ZANU-PF party, Biti said.

"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.

The MDC Alliance's Tendai Biti's lawyer says he has noted the police's request for his client to hand himself over to them this afternoon.

Pfigu said he was optimistic on election day for the country's first vote without Mugabe, who ruled for almost four decades, on the ballot. The uncertainty about the results had triggered fears among opposition activists that the government or the military could refuse to cede power if the Zanu-PF was defeated.

"It is imperative that the results process is credible and transparent, with a full breakdown by polling station so that confidence in the outcome can be assured", Brok said.

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