Tuesday, 14 August, 2018

Traffic in Zimbabwean capital at standstill amid protest against election results

A voter has their finger marked ahead of casting a vote in the Zimbabwean elections on 30 July 2018 Zimbabwe opposition supporters protest election result
Ray Hunter | 01 August, 2018, 22:00

Mnangagwa's government, meanwhile, accused Chamisa and his supporters of inciting "violence" by already declaring he had won the election, the first after former leader Robert Mugabe stepped down in November.

Opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) supporters started celebrating Tuesday after a senior party official said that the party was sure Chamisa had won and that if he was not declared victorious, it would "announce our own results".

Voting ended at 7PM for Zimbabwe's 2018 harmonised elections, and the MDC Alliance led by Nelson Chamisa claimed exit polls showed it with a 65 percent majority in the presidential race.

European Union observers on Wednesday criticised the Zimbabwe elections for being held on an "un-level playing field" as the opposition MDC protested against alleged widespread fraud by the election authority and ruling party.

Riot police using water cannon and tear gas arrived to a chaotic scene of burning tyres and an unrelenting crowd.

Meanwhile, many Zimbabweans have expressed shock at the military firing live ammunition.

"The electoral commission failed to meet the mark in a number of ways and the election failed to meet the mark in a number of ways", said Johnnie Carson, a former USA assistant Secretary of State for Africa, who is part of an observer mission from the International Republican Institute and the National Democratic Institute.

Both the opposition and Western election observers have urged that presidential election results be released as soon as possible.

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The electoral commission warned that final results of the presidential first round may not be known until Friday or even Saturday. We've more votes than ED (Emmerson Dambudzo).

Support for Zanu-PF historically has been deepest in rural areas, particularly the party's Mashonaland heartland, where more than two-thirds of Zimbabwe's 17 million people live.

"What they have done is intimidate people in the rural areas saying, "we will kill you if you vote MDC" and so on and then the worldwide observers say this election was free and fair".

The ZEC "seeks to release results to buy time and reverse the people's presidential election victory", Chamisa said on his Twitter account.

If neither candidate receives an outright majority, there will be a September 8 runoff.

It said it had observed several problems, including media bias, voter intimidation and mistrust in the electoral commission, adding that there was an "improved political climate, but un-level playing field and lack of trust". And authorities welcomed it as such, as well, inviting global election monitors to observe the elections for the first time in about 16 years.

Supporters of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change party react as they block a street in Harare, Zimbabwe.

"There is no way that ZANU-PF will accept an MDC victory".

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