Zimbabwe’s opposition is claiming victory in Monday’s historic presidential elections. It says its candidate, Nelson Chamisa, has won the election despite official results yet to be released. In a press release made public in Harare today, August 1, 2018 the MDC Alliance is also alleging a plot to rig the election in favour of the ruling Zanu-PF party’s candidate Emmerson Mnangagwa.
The MDC says the delay in releasing official results by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) is unacceptable.Supporters of the MDC are reported to be holding victory rallies outside the party headquarters to celebrate. Former MDC finance minister Tendai Biti, told journalists that “There is a deliberate delay in formally announcing results.” He calls the current happening as “interference with the people’s will”.
Threat of legal challenge
The MDC and other civil society groups have signaled the intention to prepare a legal challenge to force the results into the open. ZEC chief Priscilla Chigumba has said that there was no cheating in the electoral process. She also revealed that the presidential result may not be ready until Saturday. Chigumba assured that in an interview with journalists that “We will not subvert [the people’s will].”
What Major contenders have said
The front-runners, President Emmerson Mnangagwa and MDC’s Nelson Chamisa have both said they are confident of victory. Mnangagwa who is leading the ruling Zanu PF said he has received “extremely positive” from his party officials. Opposition leader Nelson Chamisa however said his party was “winning resoundingly”.Voting was relatively calm across Zimbabwe but its the reaction from citizens when results begin to filter in that now matters.
The elections have been held for the first time without the involvement of the former President, Robert Mugabe who exited power after a military takeover.
The younger generation who have known Mugabe all their lives are demanding a new era. They will be crucial in deciding who wins.Zimbabwe election rules provide for a run-off if no presidential candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote. A run-off could be held on September 8.