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Concern over Zimbabwe election results that reinstated President Mugabe

The US and Europe have expressed concern about the results of Zimbabwe’s election that reelected incumbent and long-time leader President Robert Mugabe. The opposition has said it will challenge the results.

Saturday's Zimbabwe election results sparked international concern after it was announced that Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe won a seventh term in office. Officials said Mugabe won with 61.9 percent of the vote compared with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's 33.9 percent.

US Secretary of State John Kerry issued a statement calling the election "deeply flawed."

"The United States does not believe that the results announced today represent a credible expression of the will of the Zimbabwean people," he said citing irregularities in the provision and composition of the voters roll and unequal access to state media.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague also expressed "grave concern" over the election.

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Zimbabwe's Mugabe reelected

Hague said voting irregularities "call into serious question the credibility of the election."

"We note that some political parties have rejected the result on the basis of these irregularities," he said. "We will need to examine what has happened and consider further reports from regional and local observer missions. In the meantime, it is important that all allegations of electoral violations are thoroughly investigated."

The European Union added concern about "incomplete participation, as well as the identified weaknesses in the electoral process and a lack of transparency."

However, the African Union said shortly after polling stations closed that the election had been "peaceful, orderly, free and fair."

Among the complaints are allegations that electoral lists were doctored to exclude voters, so that a victory could be ensured for Mugabe's Zanu-PF party. Pro-government factions are also accused of seeking to swell the vote in Mugabe's favor by the use of "ghost" and duplicate voters.

Disputed results

Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) said it would challenge the election result in court and would exhaust "all legal remedies" in doing so. The elections were for both the presidency and for parliament.

The MDC also said on Saturday that it would not legitimize the results by taking part in the government.

Early figures released showed that Zanu-PF had taken over two-thirds of the 210 seats - more than 150 in all - in the Zimbabwean parliament. A two-thirds parliamentary majority would allow the Mugabe government to make constitutional changes.

Mugabe lost his parliamentary majority for the first time in 2008, when the country was still struggling with a decade-long slump and crippling hyperinflation.

hc/ccp (Reuters, AFP, AP, dpa)

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