Zimbabwe Election Update! Mnangagwa and Chamisa Confident of Victory
Zimbabwe’s election frontrunners – Mnangagwa and Chamisa – have disclosed they are confident of their victory as Zimbabweans await the result of its landmark elections.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa said he had received “extremely positive” information and his opponent, Nelson Chamisa said his party was “winning resoundingly”.
Zimbabwe is electing a new president, parliament and local councils for the first time without their long serving ruler, Robert Mugabe who was ousted by Mnangagwa. The election attracted a high turnout of 75% voters – almost half of Zimbabwe’s 5.6 million registered voters are under the age of 35.
The election is being monitored by the European Union and the US as they have been allowed into the country for the first time in 16 years to assess whether the elections are free and fair.
European Union chief observer Elmar Brok said it was too soon to make a judgement but voting had been “very smooth” in some areas and “totally disorganised” in other areas, Reuters news agency quotes him as saying.
Liberia’s former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, also monitored the poll on behalf of the US-based National Democratic Institute. Speaking to BBC, she explained that Monday’s long queues showed Zimbabweans were enthusiastic about voting, without any kind of repression.
“I think this is an exciting moment for Zimbabweans to change the course of their country through their votes.”
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) chairwoman Priscilla Chigumba said she was satisfied there was no cheating.
“We will not subvert [the people’s will],” she told journalists.
Previous polls have been marred by allegations of widespread rigging and intimidation.
The commission has until Saturday to announce the results but Ms Chigumba said she expects the announcement to be made well within that deadline.
Observers of the election process say the race between Mr Mnangagwa’s Zanu-PF party, and Mr Chamisa’s MDC Alliance, is extremely tight. Both men are among 23 candidates running for the presidential post.
This is also their first time contesting for the presidency and they need more than 50% of the vote to win outright without which a run-off election will be held on 8 September.