Zimbabwe elections on 'un-level playing field', say EU observers

Mnangagwa elected Zimbabwe president official result

Mnangagwa elected Zimbabwe president official result

Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu-PF party won the most seats in Parliament, official results showed Wednesday, as the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Alliance protested against alleged widespread fraud and the count continued in the key presidential race.

The violence erupted after the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission said the ruling ZANU-PF party won a majority in parliament.

MDC leader Nelson Chamisa, 40, said the presidential results were fraudulent.

The Southern African Development Community called the elections "a political watershed in Zimbabwe's history", but with some shortcomings, urging anyone with grievances to refrain from violence.

Mnangagwa, a former deputy president who fell out with Mugabe and then took over from him, urged people to wait for official results.

"We are absolutely confident there was no rigging... we at the Zimbabwean Election Commission will not steal (the people's) choice of leaders, we will not subvert their will", ZEC chair Priscilla Chiguma said a day after the vote.

The violence appeared to dash the hopes of Zimbabweans that the peaceful vote would lift them out of decades of economic and political stagnation under Mr Mugabe.

Separately, European Union election observers released a report noting "soft intimidation" and an "unlevel playing field" during the leadup to Monday's historic vote - the first since the ousting of long-time leader Robert Mugabe.

If no presidential candidate wins at least 50 percent of the ballots cast in the first round, a run-off vote is scheduled for September 8.

The case is different outside the ruling party headquarters, as there was no sign of supporters or heavy presence of security agents.

A Harare-based political analyst with Zimbabwe Democracy Institute, Pedzisai Ruhanya, said the results released so far could be a reflection of the will of the people but were not flawless.

Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) in a press briefing said it was within the legal limits of time (five days) allowed to release presidential results. We have won the popular vote.

"The longer it lasts that the results of the presidential election is not known, the more lack of credibility it provides", Brok said.

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 most important thing for us now is to move beyond yesterday's tragic events, and to move forward, together.They, alongside the families of the victims, are in my thoughts and prayers at this hard time.

"You voted for total Change in this past election!" the lawyer and minister said.

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

ZANU-PF was Mr Mugabe's former party.

"It seems the results so far could indicate the will of the people, especially the rural population, to be ruled by ZANU-PF", said Ruhanya. Another opposition party, National Patriot Front (NPF) won 1 and an independent candidate also took one.

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