The results of the separate presidential election won’t be revealed until all votes are collated. (AP)
Zimbabwe’s ruling ZANU-PF party has won the majority of seats in parliament after sweeping rural constituencies by huge margins, official results showed, setting the stage for President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s victory.
- If ZANU-PF wins a two-thirds majority they could change the constitution at will
- A result of the separate presidential election is not expected until later this week
- If neither candidate wins more than 50 per cent, a runoff will be held September 8
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission results showed Mnangagwa’s ZANU-PF cruising to a big majority after picking up 109 seats against 41 for the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).
Another 58 seats are yet to be declared.
The House of Assembly of Parliament has 210 seats and ZANU-PF would need to win 30 more to have a two-thirds majority that would allow it to change the constitution at will.
Voters in Zimbabwe pick a presidential candidate based on their party affiliation and the trend in the parliamentary election was expected to continue when results for the president are announced this week.
The opposition MDC, led by Nelson Chamisa, won in most urban centres, where it enjoys majority support.
The MDC accused the election commission 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.
Supporters of both the ruling party and opposition party had been celebrating a possible victory. (AP: Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)
Priscilla Chigumba, a judge who heads the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, said she was confident there had been no “cheating” in the first election without Mugabe on the ballot. Each polling station must post its results outside after vote-counting, she said.
“We will not steal their choice of leaders, we will not subvert their will,” Ms Chigumba said.
“The atmosphere has remained peaceful” and the commission has not received any major complaints about the election, she said.
Even though the election passed off peacefully, several water cannon trucks patrolled outside the central Harare headquarters of the MDC as its red-shirted supporters danced in the streets.
The commission said it would delay releasing any results of the presidential race until all the votes are collated.
If no presidential candidate wins more than 50 per cent of the vote, a runoff will be held September 8.
Observers say this election could tilt the country toward recovery after years of economic collapse and repression. (AP: Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)