Zimbabwe soldiers clash with opposition supporters as ruling party wins majority

01 August, 2018, 22:44 | Author: Lucy Floyd
  • Zimbabwe's incumbent President and candidate Emmerson Mnangagwa arrives for his closing presidential campaign rally in Harare

Automatic gunfire crackled in the streets of Zimbabwe's capital on Wednesday as soldiers stepped in to disperse protesters who clashed with police after the main opposition leader accused the ruling party of trying to rig the country's election. Violence can not be a part of that. "They are there to assist the police", Ziyambi said in an interview broadcast on eNCA television.

The leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, Nelson Chamisa, said on Twitter he had won the "popular vote" in Monday's election, in which he challenged Mugabe's successor, Emmerson Mnangagwa from the ruling ZANU-PF party.

Anti-riot police backed by water cannon trucks monitored the demonstrators, while MDC supporters also protested outside the conference centre where election results are being announced. This is exactly why we wanted change.

The House of Assembly of Parliament has 210 seats and ZANU-PF would need to win 30 more to have a two-thirds majority that would allow it to change the constitution at will. "They are stealing our election".

Results for parliamentary and council seats will start trickling in tomorrow while the overall results are expected no later than Friday.

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The vote attracted a high turnout of 70% and was monitored by worldwide observers.

European Union observers on Wednesday said Zimbabwe's elections had several problems, including media bias, voter intimidation and mistrust in the electoral commission and questioned delays in releasing the presidential results, but the EU does not yet know if the shortcomings in the election will have a material impact on the result.

It was reported that the Zimbabwean Electoral Commission (ZEC) said this was due to the fact that candidates had to be afforded an opportunity to verify the outcomes and follow certain processes.

Zimbabwe's much-criticised election authority declared Tuesday that the vote had been free of rigging - even though the count was not yet completed.

The police deployed 71‚000 officers countrywide ahead of the high stakes elections held on Monday.

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What are election observers saying?

Hundreds of MDC Alliance supporters have erupted into song in the streets of Harare city centre immediately after one of the political outfit's top officials, Tendai Biti issued a statement sensationally claiming there was assassination attempt on him and the MDC Alliance presidential candidate Nelson Chamisa.

A preliminary report by the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) observers said the elections were largely peaceful and conducted in accordance with the law.

The party now has an unassailable majority at 109 seats, while MDC-Alliance has 41, NPF has one seat and one independent. He also alleged that the ruling party had bribed voters in rural areas.

However, Douglas Mwonzora, a top MDC Alliance official, told the BBC's Andrew Harding that the endorsement on Sunday of their candidate by Mr Mugabe had cost the party votes.

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A Zanu-PF spokesman dismissed the opposition's allegations of interference, telling the BBC he had "no clue" what Mr Biti was talking about.

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