Thursday, 13 December, 2018

Zimbabwe election: worldwide calls for restraint

Zimbabwe election: Both sides certain of winning Zimbabwe election: ZANU-PF wins parliamentary majority, electoral body says
| 02 August, 2018, 15:36

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".

Opposition supporters gesture outside the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission offices in Harare.

Another member of the opposition, Eveson Matambanadzo, said: "The results we have are cooked if you compare the people who voted on the ground to the results that are there it doesn't tally." .

When Mugabe resigned last November, bowing to pressure from his former ally Mnangagwa and the military, observers both at home and overseas heralded Monday's general elections - which will decide presidential, parliamentary and local seats - as an opportunity for a clean slate.

The assessments are critical for Zimbabwe, because foreign governments, including the US, have made any financial aid conditional on holding democratic elections.

The electoral body's core staff is drawn from Zanu-PF and the Zimbabwe National Army.

They 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 commission had said there was no rigging or cheating in the first national election since the end of Robert Mugabe's almost four decade rule. But there was no response from the MDC Alliance leader, who claimed several times on Twitter to have "won the popular vote" but provided no numbers or concrete evidence of fraud by the ruling ZANU-PF party.

Opposition MDC party supporters hold a voting placard up high during the clashes with police.

The EU did not understand why the release of the presidential result was taking so long, Brok said. At least three people were reported killed.


The ZANU-PF leader tweeted: "At this crucial time, I call on everyone to desist from provocative declarations and statements".

The commission said it would release vote totals "sometime" on Thursday, even though it said most of the results "are here with us". "We're continuing to closely monitor the situation", she said.

Mnangagwa, a former deputy president who fell out with Mugabe and then took over from him, has said his showing in the election was "extremely positive" while urging people to wait for official results.

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.

"Opposition parties have never enjoyed the freedom of meeting their supporters the way they have been doing‚ so they have perhaps misinterpreted our understanding to being weak‚" he said.

He said: "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".

The opposition has spoken of vote-rigging, saying results were not posted outside a fifth of the country's almost 11,000 polling stations.

Parliamentary results show Zanu-PF heading for a big majority.

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

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