Zimbabwe election results MDC supporters celebrate before the results are announced
02 August, 2018, 15:35
Global observer missions from around the world released preliminary statements on Wednesday that largely withheld judgment on the allegations of rigging and other irregularities, though most at least noted that the media had been polarized and biased in the lead-up to the election.
Observers from the Southern African Development Community called the elections "a political watershed in Zimbabwe's history" but with some shortcomings, urging anyone with grievances to refrain from violence.
Parliamentary results showed 109 seats for incumbent President Mnangagwa's Zanu-PF, and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) with just 41. "No amount of results manipulation will alter your will", he tweeted before the army was deployed on Wednesday.
A wounded man takes shelter in a market stall in Harare as protests turned violent.
Armoured personnel carriers ferried troops and riot police to the scene.
The opposition "are testing our resolve", he said, "and I think they are making a big mistake".
"This is our government".
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has five days from Monday's election to release them. "We need security for the people". Why are the army here beating us? shooting us?
This was the first time western observers were allowed to monitor the democratic process in Zimbabwe for nearly two decades.
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The UN and former colonial power the United Kingdom both expressed concern about the violence, in which three people were killed after troops opened fire.
"You said you were better than Mugabe you are the picture of Mugabe", shouted one young male protester wearing a white T-shirt.
The violence appeared to dash the hopes of Zimbabweans that the peaceful vote would lift them out of decades of economic and political stagnation under Mr Mugabe. "Today we saw the deployment of military tanks and firing of live ammunition on civilians for no apparent reason".
Chamisa declared an early victory on Tuesday long before the counting had been completed - including in the rural regions that tend to overwhelmingly support the ruling party.
Chamisa accused Zanu-PF of trying to steal the election. "The strategy is meant to prepare Zimbabwe mentally to accept fake presidential results". We've more votes than ED (Emmerson Dambudzo).
If no presidential candidate wins at least 50 percent of the ballots cast in the first round, a run-off vote is scheduled for September 8.
The EU's Chief Observer, Elmar Brok, said he did not yet know if the shortcomings would have a material effect on the outcome of the vote, and he criticised the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) for being at times "one-sided". European Union monitors said the delay was undermining the vote's credibility.
The website of the election commission, which is expected to start announcing presidential election results on Thursday, was offline after being taken out by unidentified hackers overnight.
In Harare, the contrast could not be stronger with November, when hundreds of thousands filled the streets, hugging soldiers and celebrating their role in ousting 94-year-old Mugabe, the only leader Zimbabwe had known since independence in 1980.
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