According to preliminary results by Zimbabwe’s election commission, President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party has won a parliamentary majority. However, the opposition has disputed the elections calling them a “farce.”
Preliminary results by the election commission showed Mugabe’s Zanu-PF has won 137 seats in the 210-seat parliament, just three seats short of a two-thirds majority.
The party is expected to reach that majority later Friday when more results are given.
However, the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has rejected the outcome as a “huge farce,” citing voting irregularities.
Zanu-PF insists the polls were conducted in a “free and fair” manner.
The chief of the African Union (AU) monitoring mission, former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo, agreed Friday that Zimbabwe’s election had been credible and fair, despite some problems.
“There are incidences that could have been avoided, but all-in-all we do not believe that these incidents will amount to the results not reflecting the will of the people,” Obasanjo said.
The AU’s preliminary report however voiced “great concern” about reports of large number of people being turned away from polling stations. This is said to have occurred particularly in urban areas, where support for opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai is highest.
About 600 foreign election observers, mostly from African bodies, were accredited at the elections along with 6,000 local observers.
The final results of Wednesday’s election must be announced by Monday.
Presidential poll results are expected in the coming days and if no candidate gets at least 50 percent of the vote, a second round will be held on September 11.
hc/dr (Reuters, AFP, AP, dpa)