Tense Zimbabwe Awaits Vote Results After Troops Fire On Protestors

Zimbabwe election results Could the opposition party win

Zimbabwe election results Could the opposition party win

For supporters of Zimbabwe's opposition MDC Alliance party, this was a day they had been dreading - the moment their dream of election victory was crushed.

Both the opposition and Western election observers have urged that presidential election results be released as soon as possible.

Harare was tense as people waited to find out the victor of the presidential election, and about 150 opposition supporters gathered outside the hotel where results are being released.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) said Wednesday that of 210 parliamentary seats, 153 had been counted with ZANU-PF winning 110 and the MDC Alliance 41.

Opposition supporters had marched to and from the gates of a compound where the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission had been announcing results.

After first indicating it would release presidential vote totals on Wednesday, the electoral commission said it would wait until Thursday, adding that agents for the more than 20 candidates must verify them first. "No amount of results manipulation will alter your WILL".

United Nations deputy spokesman Farhan Haq appealed to Zimbabwe "to exercise restraint and reject any form of violence while awaiting resolution of the disputes and announcement of the election results".

The EU mission pointed out the "misuse of state resources, instances of coercion and intimidation, partisan behaviour by traditional leaders and overt bias in state media" but said Monday's election was largely peaceful in a break from the past. We have won the popular vote.

The results of the race are expected on Saturday and the European Union mission says a more detailed statement on how the election results were handled will be released soon.

Millions of people voted peacefully on Monday in the first election since the army removed Robert Mugabe from power past year.

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Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) praised the electoral commission for using biometric kits to register voters, saying it reduced the possibility of multiple voting.

The deployment of soldiers and clashes with protesters set back President Emmerson Mnangagwa's efforts to shed Zimbabwe's pariah status after decades of repression under Robert Mugabe, who was ousted in a coup in November.

"Rocks were thrown into the compound of the ruling ZANU-PF party".

"The results are a gimmick to try and prepare Zimbabwe for a rigged election".

If no presidential candidate wins at least 50 percent of the ballots cast in the first round, a run-off vote is scheduled for September 8.

Its population of 13 million is struggling amid shortages of foreign currency, unemployment above 80% and lack of foreign investment. "We had to consult among ourselves whether it would be safe", said one worker who declined to give his name.

The ruling party has secured two-thirds majority in parliament.

The crowds had been there since the morning but when news came that Zanu-PF had won the majority of seats in parliament and that the presidential results were not ready, the mood turned.

Mnangagwa, a longtime ZANU-PF member with a record of violence during his time in government, called on Zimbabwe's voters to "desist from provocative declarations and statements".

Former MDC finance minister Tendai Biti and ZESN, the main domestic election monitor, said one in five polling stations - more than 2,000 in all - had not physically posted tallies on their doors, as required by law.

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