Could Zimbabwe see its first change of party since independence?

31 July, 2018, 18:43 | Author: Jason Torres
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     PURGED Grace Mugabe was expelled from Zanu-PF during the military coup

Millions of people voted peacefully on Monday in the first poll since the army removed Robert Mugabe from power previous year.

Global observers have been cross-checking the ballots, to see if there was no vote-rigging in yesterday's election.

In the 2008 election, the result was not announced for more than a month, fueling complaints the result was rigged by the incumbent ZANU-PF. The turnout varied from 60 to 78 per cent with some areas still reporting.

The claims pointed to a contested result in the historic election, raising the prospect of competing fraud allegations and a possible run-off vote in September - required if no candidate wins at least 50 percent of ballots in the first round.

She said she was confident there was no "cheating" and that the commission will respect the will of Zimbabweans: 'We will not steal their choice of leaders, we will not subvert their will'.

"Waiting patiently for official results as per the constitution". The election was the first since longtime leader Robert Mugabe stepped down in November under military pressure and former confidante Emmerson Mnangagwa took power.

Zimbabwe's election, the first since the removal of Robert Mugabe in a de facto coup past year, has in some cases been "very smooth", in others "totally disorganised", the European Union chief observer said on Monday, with voting still under way. "People can't help but make some type of announcement when the process is taking this long", Dendere said.

Mugabe on Sunday called Chamisa the only viable candidate and rejected Mnangagwa and the ruling party, saying that "I can not vote for those who have tormented me".

Zimbabwe's electoral commission has said it will announce final results within five days. We've done exceedingly well.

About 5.5 million people were registered to vote in this southern African nation anxious for change after economic and political paralysis during the almost four-decade rule of the 94-year-old Mugabe.

ZANU-PF has had an iron grip on power since independence from British colonial rule in 1980, and victory for the opposition would be a major upset.

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He voted with his wife Grace and daughter Bona in Highfield, a high-density township in Harare.

The presence of Western election monitors for the first time in years is an indicator of a freer political environment, though concerns have been raised about state media bias toward the ruling party as well as a lack of transparency with the printing of ballot papers.

Elmar Brok, head of the European Union monitoring mission, said Tuesday that his team had noted some "inconsistencies", but overall, there was "progress" compared to past elections.

"This election is different, there hasn't been violence".

Both Chamisa and President Emmerson Mnangagwa have expressed optimism about the election results.

Voting appeared to pass off largely without incident despite the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights warning of intimidation and threats of violence in the run-up to polling day.

Police water cannons are seen in the capital, Harare, Zimbabwe, Tuesday, July, 31, 2018.

"We need change because we have suffered a lot here", said 65-year-old Mable Mafaro while voting in Harare.

People look at results placed outside a polling station in Harare.

Zanu-PF deputy legal secretary and former deputy justice minister Fortune Chasi told VOA that, "Mr. Mnangagwa announced on Saturday that he had finished his campaign when he addressed a rally at the National Sports Stadium in Harare".

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