Tensions Mount as Zimbabwe’s Ruling Party Declared Winner of Parliamentary Election

Zimbabwe election results Could the opposition party win

President Emmerson Mnangagwa's party is poised to win a substantial parliamentary majority in Monday's poll - the first elections since long-serving ruler Robert Mugabe was ousted.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said that he holds the leaders of the coalition MDC Alliance responsible for the violence which took place today.

The ruling Zanu-PF party has won a majority of seats in parliament, the electoral commission said.

The electoral commission had said it would start announcing results for the presidential race from 12.30pm but election officials said they would announce the results from Thursday.

The protesters are "out on the streets saying, 'We are going to defend our vote, ' " NPR's Eyder Peralta reports from Harare, adding that the partial release of parliamentary results was enough to convince protesters of alleged fraud.

As Zimbabwe awaits the final result of the presidential election, both the MCD Alliance and ZANU-PF are confident of success.

A protester gestures toward police water cannons outside of the gates of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.

European Union observers voiced 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.

Police patrol outside the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission offices in Harare, Zimbabwe.

MDC leader Nelson Chamisa, 40, said the presidential results were fraudulent.

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The government has meanwhile squarely blamed deadly violence in the capital on leaders of the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change Alliance.

When Mugabe resigned last November, bowing to pressure from his former ally Mnangagwa and the military, observers both at home and overseas heralded Monday's general elections - which will decide presidential, parliamentary and local seats - as an opportunity for a clean slate. "If President Chamisa wins this election then the people of Zimbabwe will have their government".

Before the violence, EU Chief Observer Elmar Brok said he did not yet know if the shortcomings would have a material effect on the outcome of the vote, but criticised the electoral commission for being at times "one-sided".

More than five million people were registered to vote - with a high turnout of 70%.

He said: "SADC tell me, what you observing, what are you observing? The strategy is meant to prepare Zim mentally to accept fake presidential results", he tweeted.

"Rocks were thrown into the compound of the ruling ZANU-PF party".

Chamisa, a lawyer and pastor, yesterday said results had not been posted outside 21% of the country's almost 11,000 polling stations, raising concerns about possible vote-rigging.

He said: "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 commission, which must announce the presidential results by Saturday, has said the vote was free and fair.

The election stands as an important test for Zimbabwe as the country tries to rebuild its economy and worldwide standing after almost four decades of Mugabe rule.

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