Published: Thu, August 02, 2018
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Zimbabwe's ruling party ZANU-PF wins majority seats in parliament

Zimbabwe's ruling party ZANU-PF wins majority seats in parliament

Three people were killed after soldiers moved into Harare on Wednesday, firing live rounds and beating protesters.

The Alliance leader, Nelson Chamisa, claims he won resoundingly but results are being "cooked" by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC).

Observers had raised concerns about the independence of the electoral commission ahead of the vote, pointing to close ties to the ruling party and the military.

"Now is the time for responsibility and above all, peace".

Police have invoked a strict security act that forbids public gatherings.

The parliamentary results strengthened the chances of President Emmerson Mnangagwa holding power, but triggered MDC demonstrations in Harare and fears of clashes between angry opposition supporters and the government. "We are going to have to go to war, go to war against ZANU-PF".

The opposition says it condemns violence in all its forms.

Supporters of the Movement for Democratic Change, Zimbabwe's primary opposition party, protest against alleged fraud by the election authority and ruling party Wednesday in Harare. The commission, which must announce the presidential results by Saturday, has said the vote was free and fair.

Police officers stand guard at the ZANU-PF party headquarters in Harare, Zimbabwe, on August 1, 2018. Police padlocked the main gate.

Meanwhile, ZANU-PF denied the opposition accusation of manipulating the vote.

European Union observers questioned the conduct of the presidential and parliamentary poll, Zimbabwe's first since Robert Mugabe was forced to resign following a de facto coup in November after almost 40 years in power. Both the European Union and United States missions urged the release of the presidential results as soon as possible. "If President Chamisa wins this election then the people of Zimbabwe will have their government".

They went on the rampage down Harare's busy streets towards an old Zanu-PF office with large stones, sticks and anything they could grab along the way.

The BBC reports that the announcement on the presidential poll was not made because representatives of some of the 23 candidates had failed to turn up to verify the results.

Pfigu said he was optimistic on election day for the country's first vote without Mugabe, who ruled for almost four decades, on the ballot.

But it said partial presidential results could be announced later Wednesday. They believe the election has been stolen, and are demanding the MDC be announced as victor.

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 Mugabe, but the country is haunted by a history of electoral violence and manipulation that means trust is scarce. Its population of 13 million is struggling amid shortages of foreign currency, unemployment above 80 percent and lack of foreign investment.

By calculation, ZANU-PF would need to win 30 more seats to have a two-thirds majority that would allow it to change the constitution.

The commission has said it would announce the results of the presidential race, pitting President Emmerson Mnangagwa against opposition leader Nelson Chamisa, only after all the votes have come in from across the country.

Supporters of Chamisa's MDC party have blocked streets and burned tyres. "We have won this one together".

"I am not happy because at the polling station where I voted most of the people were voting for MDC alliance but if you see the results of the constituency it does not reflect the will of the people". His party says the election was rigged.

The opposition has spoken of vote-rigging, saying results were not posted outside a fifth of the country's almost 11,000 polling stations.

Via his Twitter handle, President Mnangagwa warned his supporters and the citizenry to desist from making statements that could stir political animosity.

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