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Zimbabwe’s ruling Zanu-PF party wins control of parliament

The electoral commission said it will announce the results of the presidential race when all votes for the House of Assembly have come in.

Zimbabwe’s ruling Zanu-PF party has won a majority of seats in parliament, the country’s electoral commission said.

Zanu-PF has 109 seats versus the main opposition MDC party which has taken 41 in the House of Assembly, which has 210 seats.

According to the electoral commission announcement, 58 parliamentary seats are yet to be declared.

The commission said it will announce the results of the presidential race, pitting President Emmerson Mnangagwa against opposition leader Nelson Chamisa, after all the votes have come in.

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Emmerson Mnangagwa casting his vote in Kwekwe (Jerome Delay/AP)

Electoral commission chief Priscilla Chigumba told reporters on Tuesday that the atmosphere around the polling “remained peaceful”, and the commission had not received any major complaints about how the election was conducted.

She said she was confident there was no “cheating” and the commission would respect the will of Zimbabweans: “We will not steal their choice of leaders, we will not subvert their will.”

If no presidential candidate wins more than 50% of the vote, a run-off will be held on September 8.

The opposition alleged the elections had irregularities, saying results were not posted outside a fifth of polling stations, as required by law.

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Nelson Chamisa greets his supporters (Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi/AP)

Mr Mnangagwa’s government accused Mr Chamisa and his supporters of inciting “violence” by already declaring he had won Monday’s election, the first after former leader Robert Mugabe stepped down in November under military pressure.

Zimbabweans desperately hope Monday’s peaceful vote will lift them out of economic and political stagnation after decades of Mugabe’s rule, but the country is haunted by a history of electoral violence and manipulation that means trust is scarce, despite today’s freer environment.

While the electoral commission has five days from the end of voting to release the final tally, the national mood is growing anxious partly because unofficial results are already swirling on social media.

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