President Robert Mugabe and his party have officially been declared winners of Wednesday's election. But Prime Minister Tsvangirai and his party said they will not recognize the win and threatened to take to the streets.
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission chairwoman Justice Rita Makarau said President Mugabe's Zanu-PF party had regained its two-thirds majority in parliament, following elections held Wednesday (31.07.2013) in generally peaceful conditions. She said Mugabe had garnered more than 60 percent of the vote cast for the president.
"Mugabe, Robert Gabriel, of Zanu-PF party is therefore duly declared the president of the Republic of Zimbabwe with effect of today, the third of August. I thank you," Makarau told a crowd of supporters.
Mugabe's gathered supporters erupted into applause following the announcement and went into a frenzy celebrating their party's victory in Zimbabwe over Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).
Opposition threatens protests
Across town, Tsvangirai and fellow members of the MDC's leadership held a meeting, after which Tsvangirai issued the following statement: "The MDC totally rejects the 31 July elections. The fraudulent and stolen election has plunged Zimbabwe into a constitutional, political and economic crisis. In this regard, the MDC expects that the SADC and AU shall meet urgently to deal with this crisis in order to restore constitutional, political and legal legitimacy in the country."
The prime minister said his party would follow every avenue available to ensure the MDC can assume leadership of Zimbabwe, and Tsvangirai added that their plans include court actions and taking to the streets.
Zimbabwean Defense Minister Emerson Mnangagwa, who is a close ally of Mugabe, rejects the threats by Tsvangirai to try and overturn Mugabe's win.
"He is speaking of the minority that have voted for him. But the majority of this country have spoken. If he is an honest politician, he must respect views of the majority," Emerson Mnangagwa said.
On Friday, the African Union concurred with the prime minister that the election commission had not released the voters' roll to the contestants on time as required by Zimbabwe's constitution. The MDC is arguing that the voters' roll included deceased individuals and duplicated names.
On the other hand, the regional body Southern African Development Community (SADC), provisionally disagreed, calling the election "very free" and "very peaceful." However, the intergovernmental group also noted that there were some violations, and a full analysis was still underway. Its full report is slated for release within 30 days, and the findings may call into question the fairness of Zimbabwe's election.