June 17, 2024

Voting extended by 24 hours in Zimbabwe election

The presidential election in Zimbabwe has been extended by additional 24 hours after the poll was marred by delays.

 

The notification of the extension was contained in a presidential decree released late Wednesday.

 

Zimbabwean law requires that voting take place within one day.

 

The presidential decree stated that the delays had affected 40 wards. Although the identified locations accounted for less than 1% of the country’s 12,374 wards, including 11 wards in Harare, the country’s capital with the highest number of registered voters.

 

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission confirmed the late distribution of ballot papers at some polling stations and blamed it on printing delays “arising from numerous court challenges.”

 

President Emerson Mnangagwa is running for re-election following a first term in which high inflation, currency shortages, and record unemployment left many Zimbabweans relying on dollar remittances from relatives abroad to make ends meet.

 

Mnangagwa, came to power after long term leader Robert Mugabe was deposed in a 2018 military revolution.

 

The incumbent President is contesting against ten other candidates, including his main opponent, lawyer and pastor Nelson Chamisa, of the Citizens Coalition for Change.

 

A presidential candidate must receive more than 50% of the vote to be declared winner of the election. If no clear winner emerges, a run-off between the top two candidates will be held on Oct. 2.

 

Candidates for parliamentary and local council seats require a simple majority of votes cast.

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