Zim­babwe pres­i­dent, op­po­si­tion leader reg­is­ter for July vote


Malta Independent - - WORLD -

Zim­babwe’s mil­i­tary-backed pres­i­dent and a youth­ful op­po­si­tion leader have reg­is­tered for July 30 elec­tions, the first with­out for­mer leader Robert Mu­gabe’s par­tic­i­pa­tion. Pres­i­dent Em­mer­son Mnan­gagwa, the 75-year-old for­mer Mu­gabe ally who took power with the mil­i­tary’s help in Novem­ber, faces a stern chal­lenge from Nel­son Chamisa, a 40-year-old who has en­er­gized the main op­po­si­tion party. Lead­ers of four smaller par­ties also have reg­is­tered, al­though that num­ber could grow by the close of the reg­is­tra­tion process Thursday evening. Mnan­gagwa has pledged free and fair elec­tions and in­vited Western ob­servers for the first time in nearly two decades. Past elec­tions were marked by al­leged fraud. The main op­po­si­tion has raised con­cerns about al­leged mil­i­tary in­volve­ment in this elec­toral process and de­manded trans­parency in the vot­ers’ roll and in the print­ing of bal­lots.

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