Published: Tue, July 31, 2018
World Media | By Cesar Oliver

MDC 'have won' Zimbabwe election: senior party official

MDC 'have won' Zimbabwe election: senior party official

Smaller wards in the urban areas are expected to be announced first while the rural votes make their way to the ZEC Centre at the Harare International Conference Centre.

ZEC chairperson Priscilla Chigumba urged Zimbabweans to disregard fake news results and wait for the official announcement.

Election officials are counting ballots and both front-runners await the results.

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'.

Zimbabwean civil society groups said this afternoon they were working on a court application to force the electoral commission to get all polling stations to publish results. There will be a runoff on September 8 if no candidate wins more than half the votes.

Officials neared the end of vote counting a day after millions peacefully cast their ballots in a process closely watched by worldwide monitors, who have yet to announce whether the election was free and fair.

Each polling station must post its results outside after vote-counting, she said.

The voting started Monday, with long lines forming at polling stations across Zimbabwe.

"Concerns still remain about the independence of the ZEC amid executive interference in key electoral processes", Andrew Makoni, the chairman of the network, which deployed about 6,500 observers, said in Harare on Tuesday.

July's elections mark the first time the European Union and U.S. election monitors have been allowed into the country in years.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights warned of intimidation and threats of violence in the run-up to polling day, but said it was encouraged to see open rallies and peaceful demonstrations.

The election is a two-horse race between 75-year-old Mnangagwa, a long-time Mugabe ally, and 40-year-old Nelson Chamisa, a lawyer and pastor who is vying to become Zimbabwe's youngest head of state.

The contenders in Zimbabwe's vote must accept the results and "should look at the larger picture of success, a successful election for Zimbabwe", he said.

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