Tuesday, 23 October, 2018

Zimbabwe's ruling party wins majority seats in parliament: Poll body

Zimbabwe's ruling party wins majority seats in parliament: Poll body Opposition supporters mass in Zimbabwe capital in tense wait for election results
Ebony Burgess | 02 August, 2018, 21:18

Violence erupted across the capital on Wednesday as MDC supporters took to the streets to protest the results‚ with early results indicating a strong win for the ruling Zanu-PF.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission is yet to make a statement but the president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, in a series of tweets, said he is talking to the opposition and has called for an independent investigation.

In official results from the parliamentary election, also held on Monday, ZANU-PF won easily - suggesting Mnangagwa, 75, would be on course to retain the presidency.

Zimbabwe's electoral commission says it will announce the results of the presidential election at 9 p.m., after Western election observers urged their immediate release to avoid further tensions.

Director Jennifer Cooke of the Institute of African Studies at George Washington University's Elliot School of International Affairs, who appeared on VOA's Straight Talk Africa, said the international observers have role to play in addressing discrepancies in the election.

Mr Chamisa's party alleges that the elections are being rigged in favour of Zanu-PF, a claim ZEC denies.

The first elections since long-time President Robert Mugabe was ousted a year ago have turned out to be controversial, with the main opposition candidate Nelson Chamisa questioning the impartiality of the results.

Supporters of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change party (MDC) of Nelson Chamisa carry stones as they block the streets of Harare, Zimbabwe, August 1, 2018. Three were killed in the protests when the army was deployed to quell the violence.

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Zimbabwe's minister of justice, Ziyambi Ziyambi, has promised to restore "peace and tranquillity" in Harare but acrimony and distrust has only increased.

The opposition leader's spokesman Nkululeko Sibanda said the army's reaction in quelling disturbances in the capital was disproportionate and unjustified.

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".

TEN alleged MDC Alliance supporters were on Thursday arrested by police after they had sought refugee from the Morgan Richard Tsvangirai House, the MDC-T main headquarters in Harare on Wednesday.

"We have won the popular vote".

Questioning the independence of the judiciary, Chamisa said he was reluctant to go to court to challenge the results, saying this would be "going into the lion's den".

"The more the presidential vote is delayed, the more it calls into question the population's confidence in the election process", said former Liberian leader Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the lead observer of a USA monitoring mission.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres called on "political leaders and the population to exercise restraint and reject any form of violence while awaiting the announcement of the election results". He says the situation on the ground remains tense and talks about the outcome of the election commission press conference. The EU mission questioned why presidential votes were counted first but were being announced last.

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