Zimbabwe elec­tion: Em­mer­son Mnan­gagwa de­clared win­ner in dis­puted poll

The Star (St. Lucia) - - INTERNATIONAL - -- BBC.CO.UK

Pres­i­dent Em­mer­son Mnan­gagwa has won Zimbabwe's pres­i­den­tial elec­tion, ac­cord­ing to the elec­toral com­mis­sion.

With all 10 prov­inces de­clared, Mr Mnan­gagwa won 50.8% of votes, com­pared to 44.3% for op­po­si­tion leader Nel­son Chamisa.

Po­lice re­moved op­po­si­tion of­fi­cials from the elec­toral com­mis­sion stage when they re­jected the re­sults.

The chair­man of Mr Chamisa's MDC Al­liance said the count could not be ver­i­fied. By nar­rowly win­ning more than 50% of the vote, Mr Mnan­gagwa avoids a run-off elec­tion against Mr Chamisa.

The pres­i­dent said on Twit­ter he was "hum­bled", and called the re­sult "a new be­gin­ning".

Mr Mnan­gagwa, from the gov­ern­ing Zanu-PF party, took over as pres­i­dent last Novem­ber from long-serv­ing leader Robert Mu­gabe.

Mr Chamisa has in­sisted he is the win­ner of the pres­i­den­tial poll, telling re­porters ear­lier on Thurs­day that Zanu-PF was "try­ing to bas­tardise the re­sult", some­thing "we will not al­low". But the Zimbabwe Elec­toral Com­mis­sion (Zec) said there was "ab­so­lutely no skul­dug­gery".

Six peo­ple died af­ter op­po­si­tion protests in Harare on Wed­nes­day over al­leged vo­terig­ging.

The elec­tions were the first since Mr Mu­gabe, 94, was ousted and were intended to set Zimbabwe on a new path fol­low­ing years of re­pres­sive rule.

Harare was re­ported to be quiet on Thurs­day, as troops pa­trolled the city cen­tre or­der­ing peo­ple to "be­have". Mr Mnan­gagwa said the gov­ern­ment was in talks with Mr Chamisa to defuse the cri­sis. He pro­posed an in­de­pen­dent in­ves­ti­ga­tion to bring those who were be­hind the vi­o­lence to jus­tice.

"This land is home to all of us and we will sink or swim to­gether," Mr Mnan­gagwa said in a series of tweets.

This is the first time in 16 years that the gov­ern­ment has al­lowed EU, Com­mon­wealth and US elec­tion mon­i­tors into the coun­try.

More than five mil­lion peo­ple were reg­is­tered to vote in Mon­day's poll. Turnout was 70%.

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