Chamisa declares victory in Zimbabwean presidential election

31 July, 2018, 22:57 | Author: Sue Mclaughlin
  • Zimbabwe elections robert mugabe

ZEC Chairperson Priscilla Chigumba says official results will start coming through at 3pm. He had earlier staged a media conference on Sunday when he called for voters to reject ZANU-PF.

The ZEC boss once again applauded the high vote turnout in the country's first post-Robert Mugabe elections.

At one polling station in the capital Harare, officials counted large piles of votes using gas lanterns and candles late into the night. Past votes under Mugabe were marked by violence but Monday's vote was peaceful.

Incumbent President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who took over after Mugabe's departure, said he had received "extremely positive" information.

"Zimbabwe experienced a handsome expression of freedom and democracy".

Polls closed at 7pm (6pm BST) on Monday evening.

But his rival Chamisa, a young lawyer and pastor who has performed strongly on the campaign trail, vowed to tap into the huge youth vote.

The commission said it would delay releasing any results of the presidential race until all the votes are collated.

On Twitter, he alleged there was a "deliberate attempt to suppress" voting in urban areas - MDC strongholds.

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Zimbabweans are awaiting the first results from an election that they hope will lift the country out of economic and political stagnation after decades of rule by former leader Robert Mugabe.

A recent Afrobarometer survey of 2,400 people put Mnangagwa on 40 per cent and Chamisa on 37 per cent, with 20 per cent undecided. The peaceful election was a break from votes marred by violence.

The new government will face mass unemployment and an economy shattered by the seizure of white-owned farms under Mugabe, the collapse of agriculture, hyperinflation and an investment exodus.

Previously solid health and education services are in ruins and millions have fled overseas to seek work.

Life expectancy has only recently recovered to its 1985 level of 61 years.

In Harare 75% of the votes have been finalised while in Manicaland 56%, has been completed.

"In African elections, often stakes are very high and nobody has a backup plan for losing", said John Dramani Mahama, former president of Ghana and head of the observer mission from the Commonwealth nations, mostly former British colonies.

"It is unlawful to announce results because it is in direct contravention of section 60 (A) subsection B of the Electoral Act", she said.

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