President Mnangagwa calls for calm amid Harare clashes
02 August, 2018, 15:24 | Author: Edward Snyder
The opposition claim the results have been rigged in favour of President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
He added: "The strategy is meant to prepare [Zimbabwe] mentally to accept fake presidential results".
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres urged Zimbabwe's politicians to exercise restraint, while United Kingdom foreign office minister Harriett Baldwin said she was "deeply concerned" by the violence.
Mr Mnangagwa took over the ZANU-PF party after ousting Robert Mugabe in a bloodless coup in November.
This group has lost all faith in the electoral system and says they will not stop until their man is in the top job - except that's not quite how elections work.
"Opposition parties have never enjoyed the freedom of meeting their supporters the way they have been doing‚ so they have perhaps misinterpreted our understanding to being weak‚" he said.
Police block dozens of opposition party supporters from entering the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission offices in Harare, Zimbabwe, Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2018.
The regional Southern African Development Community bloc, in its preliminary report, said on Wednesday that the campaign and election had "proceeded in a peaceful and orderly manner and were largely in line" in Zimbabwean law.
On Tuesday former MDC finance minister Tendai Biti and ZESN, the main domestic election monitor, said one in five polling stations - more than 2,000 in all - had not physically posted tallies on their doors, as required by law. Another 58 seats are yet to be declared.
State broadcaster ZBC reported that the electoral commission would announce the presidential results at 12:30 local time (10:30 GMT).
The Commonwealth also urged the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to expedite the announcement of the results of the presidential vote.
A Harare-based political analyst with Zimbabwe Democracy Institute, Pedzisai Ruhanya, said the results released so far could be a reflection of the will of the people but were not ideal. The 40-year-old vibrant leader says they have "won the popular vote".
In official results from the parliamentary election, also held on Monday, ZANU-PF won easily - suggesting Mnangagwa, 75, would be on course to retain the presidency.
Scores of his supporters who had been burning tyres in the streets attacked riot police near the electoral commission headquarters.
Elmar Brok, head of the European Union observer mission, said there were "many shortcomings" in the election, but it was unclear whether they influenced the results.
"You can't rig our election.this is a military government", the crowd shouted.
He said: "We have seen how we have won in those areas including rural areas, we were leading, and now they want to hide on the Zanu PF usual manipulation that they control rural areas".
If no presidential candidate wins at least 50 percent of the ballots cast in the first round, a run-off vote is scheduled for September 8.
"At this crucial time, I call on everyone to desist from provocative declarations and statements", he said on Twitter. Final results must be released by August 4. Nick Mangwana, ZANU-PF spokesman, stated that the party was happy with the results.
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The electoral commission warned that final results of the presidential first round may not be known until Friday or even Saturday. The southern African country this week held its first elections since the downfall of longtime leader Robert Mugabe in 2017.
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