Zimbabwe’s ruling ZANU-PF party has won the majority of seats in Parliament after sweeping rural constituencies by huge margins, official results showed on Wednesday, setting the stage for President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s victory.
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission results showed Mnangagwa’s ZANU-PF cruising to a big majority after picking up 109 seats against 41 for the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). Another 58 seats are yet to be declared.
Nelson Chamisa, of the MDC, and Mnangagwa, of ZANU-PF, were the main contenders in Monday’s vote, the first since former President Robert Mugabe was forced to resign after a de facto coup in November, after nearly 40 years in power.
The House of Assembly of Parliament has 210 seats and Zanu-PF would need to win 30 more to have a two-thirds majority that would allow it to change the constitution at will.
Voters in Zimbabwe pick a presidential candidate based on their party affiliation and the trend in the parliamentary election was expected to continue when results for the president are announced this week.
The opposition MDC, led by Nelson Chamisa, won in most urban centres, where it enjoys majority support. The MDC accused the election commission on Tuesday of deliberately delaying results of this week’s vote to favour the ruling party, reporting irregularities in the poll. Results of the presidential poll are expected by Saturday.
On Wednesday, foreign observers, who were barred from attending elections in Zimbabwe for almost two decades, including the European Union and SADC, issued verdicts yesterday, noting “misuse of state resources, instances of coercion and intimidation, partisan behavior by traditional leaders and overt bias in state media”, and urging the Zimbabwean government to allow the country’s diaspora to vote in future elections, as they are currently not allowed to do so.
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