Zimbabwe Election Results: Preliminary Numbers Show ZANU-PF Leading, Chance to Change President’s 43-Year Grip on Power
Zimbabwe Prepares for Election Amidst Challenges
Preliminary Results Show Close Election in Zimbabwe
As Zimbabwe awaits the final results, preliminary reports indicate a closely contested election. The process has been marred by delays and reports of insufficient ballots. This election presents a significant opportunity for Zimbabwe to potentially change President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s 43-year hold on power with his party, the ZANU-PF.
Parliamentary Results Released
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has released some results for the parliamentary elections. The Zimbabwe African Union/Patriotic Front has won 43 constituencies, while the main opposition party, the Citizens Alliance for Change, has secured 37 seats out of the total 210 single-member constituencies.
Presidential Results Awaited
The results for the presidential elections have not yet been announced. The delay in printing ballot papers led to an extension of the voting period until Thursday in certain areas.
Election Pivotal for Zimbabwe’s Future
The current president, 80-year-old Emmerson Mnangagwa, is seeking re-election amid a struggling economy with high inflation and unemployment. Many Zimbabweans rely on remittances from relatives abroad to make ends meet. Mnangagwa’s main challenger is 45-year-old lawyer and pastor Nelson Chamisa.
Implications for Zimbabwe’s Debt Crisis
Zimbabwe’s ability to resolve its debt crisis and obtain loans from international institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund hinges on the credibility of the election. Foreign lenders insist on a free and fair vote as a prerequisite for meaningful negotiations.
Fears of Bias in Election Process
While the government and electoral commission have promised a fair election, some political analysts remain skeptical. They argue that Mnangagwa’s party has a history of manipulating results through the use of state institutions. This raises concerns about the fairness of the current election.
Challenges Highlighted by Election Monitors
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) election monitoring team acknowledged the peaceful nature of the voting process. However, they noted issues such as voting delays, restrictions on political rallies, biased government media coverage, and limited access to voters for certain candidates.
Tensions Surround Election Results Center
On Friday morning, the roads around the election results center in Harare were closed by the police, leading to increased scrutiny from the public. This highlights the tensions surrounding the announcement of the final results.
ZANU-PF Predicts Majority in Parliament
Patrick Chinamasa, finance secretary of the ZANU-PF party, stated that the ruling party is confident in achieving a two-thirds majority in the National Assembly. Early results indicate that ZANU-PF has maintained its stronghold in rural areas, while the Central Congress Party has gained support in urban areas.
Notable Loss for ZANU-PF
In a significant setback for the ruling party, the Electoral Commission confirmed that Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube lost his parliamentary contest to a candidate from the CCC party.
Awaited Announcement of Presidential Results
The final results for the presidential elections are expected to be announced within five days of voting. ZANU-PF remains confident in Mnangagwa’s prospects, dismissing claims from Chamisa’s camp that he is leading in the polls as mere speculation.
Mnangagwa’s Rise to Power
Emmerson Mnangagwa assumed the presidency after a 2017 coup that removed long-time leader Robert Mugabe. He later won a disputed election in 2018.