June 24, 2024

Zimbabwe incumbent leader declared winner of presidential poll

Zimbabwe’s elections commission announced late Saturday that incumbent Emmerson Mnangagwa had won the just concluded presidential election with around 53% of the vote, but the opposition and analysts questioned the result immediately.


The Wednesday poll was extended by 24 hours due to late distribution of ballot papers.


Mnangagwa, who succeeded longstanding leader Robert Mugabe following an army coup in 2017, was largely expected to win re-election for a second term, with observers predicting a battle significantly skewed in favor of the ruling ZANU-PF party, which has been in power for more than four decades.


According to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), Mnangagwa’s biggest rival, Nelson Chamisa, leader of the opposition Citizens’ Coalition for Change (CCC), received 44% of the presidential vote.


After the elections commission declared Mnangagwa the winner, ZANU-PF supporters began singing and cheering at the results center.


In a post on X, formerly Twitter, a CCC spokesperson said the party rejects “any result hastily assembled without proper verification.”


Mnangagwa managed to defeat Chamisa in the 2018 presidential election. The opposition said the election was manipulated, but the outcome was validated by the constitutional court.


While the run-up to the election has been mostly peaceful, police have repeatedly banned opposition demonstrations and arrested opposition sympathizers under Zimbabwe’s strict public order laws.


ZANU-PF denies having an unfair advantage or attempting to influence election results by rigging.

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