NewsSouthern AfricaZimbabwe's voters stick with Mugabe's old party


Posted on Wednesday, 01 August 2018 12:20

Zimbabwe's voters stick with Mugabe's old party

By Reuters
Police block dozens of opposition party supporters from entering the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission offices in Harare, Zimbabwe, Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2018. Zimbabwe's ruling party has won a majority of seats in Parliament, the electoral commission announced Wednesday, as the country braced for the first official results of the presidential election. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)/XTM101/18213349901145/1808011204 Authors: Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi/AP/SIPA

Zimbabwe's Zanu-PF has won a majority of seats in parliament, official results say, setting the stage for Emmerson Mnangagwa to win the presidency. 

Zimbabwe looks on course for another president from the former party of Robert Mugabe.

In its first election since he was ousted, results from a parliamentary poll point to a win for Zanu-PF.

The country is still waiting for the outcome of a presidential vote that's been marred by allegations of irregularities.

But the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission said Wednesday (August 1) that Zanu-PF had won a majority of seats in parliament - 109 compared to the opposition Movement for Democratic Change's 41, with 58 yet to be declared.

If it wins another 30 seats, Zanu-PF will have the two-thirds majority required to change the constitution at will.

With voters expected to pick a presidential candidate based on their party affiliation the stage is set for presidential incumbent Emmerson Mnangagwa, a former Mugabe confidant, to retain power.

Western diplomats and local observer groups had said the race - which saw a high 75% turnout - was too close to call.

Divide in Zimbabwe

The results reflect a divide in Zimbabwe, as Reuters' MacDonald Dzirutwe explains.

"Zimbabwe is a politically divided country, divided between the rural and the urban. In the rural areas the majority of Zimbabweans support the ruling party which they have done since the days of the liberation struggle."

Zanu-PF has swept up rural constituencies by huge margins, the results showed, while the opposition MDC, led by 40-year-old Nelson Chamisa, has won in most urban centers.

On Wednesday, Chamisa accused the electoral commission of preparing Zimbabweans for quote "fake presidential results", adding to MDC claims the day before of deliberate delays and irregularities.

The commission says there was no rigging or cheating in the vote, the credibility of which is vital to the country.

Zimbabwe hopes a clean election will put an end to its pariah status and help it attract foreign investors.

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