Zimbabwe's Chamisa rejects court judgment confirming Mnangagwa president

Zimbabwe election appeal

FILE PHOTO: Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa at a news conference at State House in Harare, Zimbabwe, Aug. 3, 2018.

Zimbabwe's main opposition party, the MDC Alliance has accepted the constitutional court verdict that dismissed their election petition, and confirmed the electoral victory of president Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Mnangagwa applauded the nine-member Constitutional Court led by Chief Justice Luke Malaba, which unanimously ruled in his favor.

The Constitutional Court has dismissed with costs an application by the MDC Alliance to have the declaration of President Emmerson Mnangagwa as the victor of the July 30 Presidential elections set aside.

In his first comments since the country's top court overturned the opposition's legal challenge to have the results annulled, Chamisa vowed to lead "peaceful protests".

With all the provinces declared, Mnangagwa won with 50.8 percent of the votes cast compared to 44.3 percent which Chamisa garnered.

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The MDC says the commission inflated President Mnangagwa's vote totals, and says that more ballots were tallied at some polling stations than there were registered voters.

Last month's election, in which Mnangagwa and Chamisa were the main contenders, was expected to pull Zimbabwe out of its diplomatic isolation, end global sanctions and launch an economic recovery. The inauguration should take place within 48 hours of the court's ruling, according to the constitution. "It is time to move forward together".

Ahead of the court ruling, the streets around the courthouse in the capital, Harare, were cordoned off by security forces.

Mnangagwa has spoken to the nation on state television and called for calm.

Malaba said the burden of proof regarding electoral misconducted was on the MDC, and that they did not do enough to prove that the elections were rigged.

Campaigning was more open than previous votes, but the election was marred by the army opening fire on protesters, killing six, allegations of vote-rigging and a crackdown on opposition activists.

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However, even after the Constitutional Court ruling on Friday declaring the Zanu PF leader the victor of the presidential election, opinion is divided on whether he won the polls legitimately. "Using our constitutional right, we have a right to peaceful protests".

"I once again reiterate my call for peace and unity above all", Mnangagwa said on his official Twitter account.

"The inauguration is on Sunday and we are seized with sending invitations to various corners of the world", Ambassador Bimha said.

The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) accused Zimbabwe's election commission of rigging the vote in favor of President Mnangagwa and his ruling ZANU-PF party.

After Mugabe's ouster, his ruling party, the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front, retained power and Mnangagwa slid into Mugabe's seat.

The 40-year-old opposition leader again said he won the election and that the southern African nation needs fundamental reforms that can not be resolved by five more years of "vacant leadership".

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