Zimbabwe vote had 'no cheating' — electoral commission
July 31, 2018
Zimbabwe's electoral management body has ruled out rigging or cheating in Monday's landmark election. Preliminary results from the 'too close to call' ballot are expected to be announced Tuesday afternoon.
The authority has five days to release the final result, however it said it expected to start announcing results from 1300 UTC. Chigumba said she was confident there had been no "cheating" and said the ZEC will respect the will of Zimbabweans. "We will not steal their choice of leaders, we will not subvert their will."
A local election observer group, the Zimbabwe Election Support Network, said in a preliminary report that it was concerned about the ZEC's independence ahead of the vote, reported Reuters news agency.
Zimbabwe's two main presidential candidates both claimed they were heading for victory. President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who had replaced Mugabe and is the presumed front-runner in the race, said on Twitter that his ruling ZANU-PF party was getting "extremely positive" data on the count.
Head of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), Nelson Chamisa, said his party was "winning resoundingly."
Western diplomats and local observer groups said the race was too close to call.
In order to win, a candidate must reach a 50 percent vote threshold, otherwise the contest will move to a runoff on September 8.
Millions of Zimbabweans flocked to the polls in large numbers on Monday. More than 5.5 million people were registered to vote and the estimated voter turnout was about 70 percent — higher than the last election in 2013. They are hoping the results will lift the country out of political stagnation after Mugabe's rule.