Tension is growing in Zimbabwe after the country’s main opposition party said it will dispute official election results showing that the ruling Zanu-PF party is headed for a two-thirds majority in parliament.
Anti-riot police dispersed a few hundred opposition protesters who were attempting to enter the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission’s offices.
Police also sealed off roads to the election body’s offices as the protesters headed back to the Movement for Democratic Change offices.
A two-thirds majority in parliament would allow Zanu-PF to amend Zimba
The candidate for Zimbabwe’s main opposition party accused the ruling ZANU-PF of trying to steal a presidential and parliamentary election on Wednesday after official figures gave President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s party a majority in parliament.
Nelson Chamisa, 40, and Mnangagwa,75 were the main contenders in Monday’s election, the first since Robert Mugabe was forced to resign after a de facto coup in November after nearly 40 years in power.
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission said it would start announcing results for the presidential race from 10.30 GMT.
African observer groups said the vote was peaceful, orderly and largely in line with the law but raised concerns about bias of state media and the commission.
They also called for improvements in the counting procedure.
“Election…represents a political watershed in Zimbabwe’s history as they may open a new chapter building towards socio-economic recovery and consolidation of democracy,” the regional SADC bloc said in a statement.
Commission results showed Mnangagwa’s ruling ZANU-PF cruising to a big majority after picking up 109 seats against 41 for the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.
On his official Twitter feed, Chamisa accused the ZEC of releasing the parliamentary results first to prepare Zimbabweans for a Mnangagwa victory.
“The strategy is meant to prepare Zimbabwe mentally to accept fake presidential results. We’ve more votes than ED (Emmerson Dambudzo). We won the popular vote (and) will defend it,” Chamisa said.
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