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Zimbabwe election rocked by claims of Chamisa ‘assassination plot’

Zimbabwe election rocked by claims of Chamisa ‘assassination plot’

Opposition leader Chamisa accused the ZANU-PF of trying to steal the election after official figures gave it a two-thirds majority in parliament.

The electoral commission this morning confirmed the ruling party had won 109 seats, a day after the opposition accused it of deliberately delaying results in Zanu PF's favour.

When Mugabe resigned last November, bowing to pressure from his former ally Mnangagwa and the military, observers both at home and overseas heralded Monday's general elections - which will decide presidential, parliamentary and local seats - as an opportunity for a clean slate.

The United Nations reminds all sides of their pledge to hold a peaceful election, he added.

State broadcaster ZBC reported that the electoral commission would announce the presidential results at 12:30 local time (10:30 GMT).

Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) praised the electoral commission for using biometric kits to register voters, saying it reduced the possibility of multiple voting.

"While we appreciate that the electoral environment was relatively peaceful and a huge turnout at polling stations, we reiterate that electoral processes must always reflect and uphold the true will of the citizens", the coalition said on Wednesday.

"But there are serious issues with the conduct of the election by ZEC and these need to be sorted out if this election is meant to ensure a smooth democratic transition for Zimbabwe or else there will be distrust and discontent among the urban people." .

"Let me also warn such individuals and groups that no one is above the law", Home Affairs Minister Obert Mpofu said.

Supporters of the opposition party tore down a billboard of incumbent Mr Mnangagwa, and marched to the gates of the electoral commission, which were padlocked by police.

Observers from the European Union said that while the election marked a clear break from the past, "a truly level playing field was not achieved".

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"On many occasions, preparation, financing, media and hopefully not in the counting - it was advantageous for the ruling party", he told AFP as the mission called for transparency in the release of results.

Mugabe's 37-year rule ruined the country's economy and left it isolated on the global stage, so authorities are hoping that a credible election could herald a new era for the country and bring back foreign investment and prosperity.

A vendor scurries for cover with her wares as soldiers disperse demonstrators on August 1 2018, in Harare, after protests erupted over alleged fraud in the country's election.

Mnangagwa, a former deputy president who fell out with Mugabe and then took over from him, urged people to wait for official results.

The EU did not understand why the release of the presidential result was taking so long, he said. We've more votes than ED (Emmerson Mnangagwa).

Biti said, given the results he has seen at polling station thus far, he believes it is not possible for Zanu-PF to win the election.

Commission chairwoman Priscilla Chigumba, a high court judge, has flatly denied allegations of bias and strongly disputed accusations of rigging.

It followed a surprise press conference at which he stunned observers and called for voters to reject ZANU-PF, his former party.

Speaking in Harare this evening, President Mnangagwa said the hooliganism and violence came as a surprise, adding that the opposition party leadership is to blame.

His attempts to position Grace as his successor are widely thought to have driven the military to intervene and put their favoured candidate, Mnangagwa, in power.


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