Zimbabwe election: ZANU-PF wins parliamentary majority, electoral body says

Zimbabwe election: Both sides certain of winning

President Emmerson Mnangagwa's Zanu-PF party won 109 seats in parliament against 41 for the Movement for Democratic Change, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission said yesterday.

Mr Mnangagwa swept up votes in rural constituencies by huge margins.

Chamisa's MDC won in most urban centres, where it enjoys majority support.

Mr Chamisa is a 40-year-old pastor and lawyer and if he wins he will be the youngest candidate elected to the head of state in Zimbabwe.

Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) in a press briefing said it was within the legal limits of time (five days) allowed to release presidential results.

Zimbabwe election: Both sides certain of winning
Zimbabwe Election: Ruling ZANU-PF Leading with Majority Parliamentary Seats

President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Thursday said he wanted an independent investigation into the killings, and that he is seeking settle differences "peacefully". Numerous protesters tried to get into the National Results Centre (NRC). MDC leader Chamisa has said outright that his own count shows he won the election, drawing government accusations of inciting violence.

However, Douglas Mwonzora, a top MDC Alliance official, told the BBC's Andrew Harding that the endorsement on Sunday of their candidate by Mr Mugabe had cost the party votes.

Gunfire was heard downtown throughout the afternoon, including near the ruling party headquarters where protesters had gathered.

Piers Pigou, a Zimbabwe expert at the International Crisis Group think-tank agreed, saying: "Deployment of the army reveals the uncomfortable truth that, eight months after Mugabe was ousted in a coup, the army remains the pre-eminent political force". Gunfire was heard and an army helicopter flew in the skies above Harare, witnesses said. Several streets remained littered with the rubble and embers from Wednesday's clashes between protesters and soldiers.

"He tweeted: "#InZimHarare a couple people have been injured from the rubber bullet shots. "Now is the time for responsibility and above all, peace".

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It is also reported they have fired water cannons.

Zimbabwe's electoral commission had said it would start announcing results for the presidential race from 10.30 GMT on Wednesday but that was then pushed back at least 24 hours.

"The longer [the delay], the more the issue of lack of credibility arises", European Union observer Elmar Brok said.

"The strategy is meant to prepare Zimbabwe mentally to accept fake presidential results".

Pfigu said he was optimistic on election day for the country's first vote without Mugabe, who ruled for almost four decades, on the ballot. "Equally, we hold the party and its leadership responsible for any loss of life, injury or damage of property that arise from these acts of political violence which they have aided and abetted", he said.

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Through his official Twitter account Mnangagwa said calm should return to the streets through progressive dialogue.

"The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has announced a further 50 National Assembly results, bringing the total so far to 153".

Zimbabwe's main opposition leader, Nelson Chamisa, casts his vote at a polling station in Harare on Monday.

MDC supporters have ripped down a Mnangagwa billboard.

The ruling ZANU-PF party won a majority of seats in Parliament, the electoral commission said.

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