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Zimbabwe's ZANU-PF wins majority of seats

August 1, 2018

Zimbabwe's ruling party ZANU-PF has won the most seats in parliament in the first elections since Robert Mugabe's ousting, according to the electoral commission. EU observers voiced "serious concerns" about the vote.

Supporters of the MDC gather in Harare
Image: Reuters/M. Hutchings

The ZANU-PF party of Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa has claimed a majority of seats in parliament, according to official results announced Wednesday.

The southern African country this week held its first elections since the downfall of longtime leader Robert Mugabe in 2017. 

Read moreZimbabwe election unlikely to solve country's economic woes

Supporters of the MDC stand in front of a water cannon truck in the street
Riot police backed by water cannon disperse MDC supporters outside the party's headquarters in Harare Image: Reuters/S. Sibeko

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission said ZANU-PF had won 109 of the 153 seats confirmed so far, while 41 seats went to the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). Fifty-eight of the 210 seats in the National Assembly lower house were yet to be declared.

ZANU-PF would need 30 more seats to secure a two-thirds majority that would allow it to change the constitution.

Read moreZimbabwe voters await results of close presidential election

Opposition cries foul in presidential race

Vote counting is still underway to determine the country's next president, a race many analysts predict 75-year-old Mnangagwa will win.

On Wednesday afternoon, riot police were stationed outside the electoral commission in the capital, Harare, where a crowd of opposition supporters gathered to await the results. 

MDC leader and presidential candidate Nelson Chamisa, who has alleged vote rigging, said on Twitter that he was confident of victory.

"We won the popular vote and will defend it!" Chamisa, 40, said. He also accused the commission of announcing the parliamentary results first to "reverse the people's presidential election victory," and "prepare Zim [Zimbabwe] mentally to accept fake presidential results." 

Read moreJubilation and threats as Zimbabwe awaits election results

Zimbabweans hope for economic upswing post elections

Observers criticize bias

Elections during Mugabe's 37 years in power were largely marked by violence and allegations of fraud. His replacement, Mnangagwa, promised to hold a free and fair vote.

Read more: Zimbabwe elections: Seven takeaways

Observers from the European Union said that while the election marked a clear break from the past, "a truly level playing field was not achieved." They noted several problems, including media bias, voter intimidation and lack of public trust in the electoral commission. 

The EU mission also said it would deliver a more detailed assessment of how the election results are handled and announced at a later stage.

Elmar Brok in Zimbabwe

nm/rt (AFP, AP, dpa)

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