Zimbabwe's Days-Long Wait For Election Results Turns Elation Into Upheaval

DONE Polling stations officially closed

DONE Polling stations officially closed

At least one person was killed in Zimbabwe's capital Harare on Wednesday as soldiers stepped in to disperse stone-throwing opposition supporters who accused the ruling party of trying to rig Monday's presidential election, witnesses said.

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

Of the 201 seats up for grabs in Zimbabwe's parliament, 58 seats are yet to be declared, putting victory out of reach for MDC leader Nelson Chamisa.

Mugabe's 37-year rule ruined the country's economy and left it isolated on the global stage, so authorities are hoping that a credible election could herald a new era for the country and bring back foreign investment and prosperity.

The EU did not understand why the release of the presidential result was taking so long, he said.

The EU observers expressed concern about delays in releasing the results of the presidential contest, a two-horse race between Chamisa and Mnangagwa, head of the ruling ZANU-PF party.

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The EU mission also said it would deliver a more detailed assessment of how the election results are handled and announced at a later stage.

He added: "We have seen how we have won in those areas including rural areas, we were leading, and now they want to hide on the Zanu PF usual manipulation that they control rural areas".

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has yet to release even preliminary results, but it has five days to release the final tally, and it says it is confident of doing so within that time frame.

There have been celebratory scenes outside the MDC Alliance headquarters in Harare.

The country is still waiting for the outcome of a presidential vote that's been marred by allegations of irregularities.

A presidential candidate needs more than 50% of the vote to win outright.

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European Union (EU) and USA election monitors have been allowed into the country for the first time in 16 years to assess whether the elections are free and fair.

After vote-rigging allegations in previous elections under Mugabe, Mnangagwa this time allowed European Union observers back into the country for the first time in years.

The parliamentary results strengthened the chances of President Emmerson Mnangagwa holding power, but triggered MDC demonstrations in Harare and fears of clashes between angry opposition supporters and the government.

Zimbabweans were desperately hoping the peaceful election held on Monday would lift them out of economic and political stagnation after decades of Robert Mugabe's rule. Mnangagwa says that "no matter which way we voted, we are all brothers and sisters".

It followed a surprise press conference at which he stunned observers and called for voters to reject ZANU-PF, his former party.

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