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President Mnangagwa calls for calm amid Harare clashes

01 August 2018

The latest batch of results announced by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) took Zanu PF's tally to over 140 out of 210 seats, with results in three constituencies of Harare Province outstanding. Another 58 seats are yet to be declared.

The MDC accused the election commission yesterday of deliberately delaying results of this week's vote to favour the ruling party, reporting irregularities in the first poll since the removal of Robert Mugabe in a bloodless November coup.

Opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) supporters walk towards the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) headquarters on August 1, 2018 in Harare, to protest against alleged fraud in elections.

The electoral commission said it may take until Saturday-the maximum allowed under the constitution-to declare the presidential victor in Monday's vote, which pitted Mr. Mnangagwa, the longtime strongman's successor against Nelson Chamisa, a lawyer barely half his age. Waiting patiently for official results as per the constitution, ' Mnangagwa, 75, Mugabe's former right-hand man, said on Twitter.

Earlier, police had used teargas to disperse protesters following the announcement of the preliminary election results in the country.

"The results are biased, trying to give the impression that ZANU has won", said Lawrence Maguranyi, 21, an MDC supporter and university student.

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Observers from the Southern African Development Community and the African Union will also deliver reports on the polls.

The MDC members say "they have stolen our election".

As expected, Chamisa did well with urban voters, his party winning 27 out of 28 parliamentary seats in the capital Harare and 11 out of 12 in Bulawayo.

The ruling party's margin of victory in legislative elections makes Mnangagwa the stand-out favourite in that race, which featured 22 candidates.

Dark smoke rose near the offices of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission where protesters burned tyres and at least two vehicles.

"We have received a confidential report that (Vice President and retired Army) General Chiwenga has ordered the assassination of Nelson Chamisa and myself".

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"There is no way that ZANU-PF will accept an MDC victory".

Mugabe, 94, voted in Harare alongside his wife Grace after he stunned observers by calling for voters to reject ZANU-PF, his former party.

Violence erupted on Wednesday outside the Zimbabwe Election Commission (ZEC) at the International Conference Centre.

This has been seen as a pivotal election for Zimbabwe, with citizens expressing hope for change after years of economic malaise and political oppression under Mugabe.

The new government must tackle mass unemployment and an economy shattered by the seizure of white-owned farms under Mugabe, the collapse of agriculture, hyperinflation and an investment exodus.

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President Mnangagwa calls for calm amid Harare clashes