Zimbabwe's Election Commission Announces Majority Win for Ruling Party

Supporters of Zimbabwe's opposition party attend a rally in Chitungwiza outside Harare Zimbabwe

The opposition MDC party Tuesday claimed victory for its candidate Nelson Chamisa in the historic ballot while the government threatened to jail leaders announcing results before the official tally.

Violence erupted on the streets of Zimbabwe's capital Harare as the country's electoral commission announced that the ruling ZANU PF party had won two-thirds of the seats in parliament.

The MDC did not immediately respond to the parliamentary figures but its presidential contender Nelson Chamisa, 40, said the presidential results were being faked.

Three people have been killed as Zimbabwe's president blames the opposition for the violence after the country's general election. President Emmerson Mnangagwa on August 1 called for peace as police fired water cannon and teargas at opposition supporters in Harare over alleged fraud in Zimbabwe's elections.

The election, the first since the military ousted Mr. Mugabe in November and installed his former deputy and ally, has been seen as a major test of Zimbabwe's democracy and its ability to hold a free and fair election.

Truckloads of anti-riot officers were called in to help clear the streets as tensions escalated.

The commission had said there was no rigging or cheating in the first national election since the end of Robert Mugabe's almost four decade rule.

The commission said it would delay releasing any results of the presidential race until all the votes are collated.

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President Emmerson Mnangagwa's Zanu-PF party won 109 seats in parliament against 41 for the Movement for Democratic Change, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission said yesterday.

But the MDC earlier accused the election commission of deliberately delaying results in favour of the ruling party. "We won the popular vote & will defend it!"

The EU's Chief Observer, Elmar Brok, said he did not yet know if the shortcomings would have a material effect on the outcome of the vote, and he criticised the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) for being at times "one-sided". "They are stealing our election". "This time we will not allow it, we will fight", said one protester who wore a red MDC beret in central Harare.

The mission said "a truly level playing field was not achieved" in the election, pointing out the "misuse of state resources, instances of coercion and intimidation, partisan behaviour by traditional leaders and overt bias in state media".

This is the first time in 16 years that the government has allowed European Union and USA election monitors into the country.

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.

Supporters of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change party react as they block a street in Harare, Zimbabwe.

Chamisa accused ZANU-PF of trying to steal the election.

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