Zimbabwe officials wait to release vote results

Zimbabwe officials wait to release vote results

Smaller wards in the urban areas are expected to be announced first while the rural votes make their way to the ZEC Centre at the Harare International Conference Centre.

Winning resoundingly... We now have results from the majority of the over 10 000 polling stations. Opposition leader Nelson Chamisa has said he would lead peaceful protests if the vote is found to be flawed. Some people are quietly discussing unofficial results circulating on social media, while others openly argue that their political parties won Monday's election even though the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has yet to release preliminary results.

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

"In African elections, often stakes are very high and nobody has a backup plan for losing", said John Dramani Mahama, former president of Ghana and head of the observer mission from the Commonwealth group of nations, mostly former British colonies.

Mugabe, forced out under military pressure, had declared he would not vote for the ruling party he long controlled and called Chamisa the only viable candidate.

Former Zimbabwean Leader President Robert Mugabe casts his vote at a polling station in Harare.

Zimbabwe's electoral commission says it expects to start announcing election results from 3 p.m. (1300GMT) on Tuesday.

The first election results are expected Tuesday afternoon.

ZEC chairwoman Priscilla Chigumba told journalists today: "We will not subvert [the people's will]".

Elections under Mugabe were marred by systematic fraud and often deadly violence but campaigning ahead of Monday's vote was relatively unrestricted and peaceful.

Counting had continued through the night after a strong turnout in Zimbabwe's first election without Mugabe, who was ousted by the military last year after 37 years in office.

As well as electing a president, Zimbabweans were voting for 210 members of parliament and more than 9,000 councillors.

"It is unlawful to announce results because it is in direct contravention of section 60 (A) subsection B of the Electoral Act", she said.

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