Zimbabwean opposition to challenge poll results

The opposition party says it has evidence from across the country on irregularities, including voter intimidation, double voting, non-transparency in printing ballot boxes and voter manipulation.

Zimbabwean opposition to challenge poll results

World Bulletin/News Desk

Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) says it will challenge results of the recent presidential and parliamentary elections in at least 100 constituencies.

"We will pursue legal, diplomatic and political routes," MDC Spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora told the Anadolu Agency.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) announced on Saturday that President Robert Mugabe won the presidential election with 61.09% of the vote while his rival, opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, got only 33.94%, according to final results.

It also confirmed that Mugabe's ZANUPF won 158 seats in the 210-seat National Assembly, while Tsvangirai's MDC won 50 seats and two went to independent candidates.

The Southern African Development Community Election Observation Mission (SEOM) has described the July 31 elections in Zimbabwe as "free and peaceful."

While putting a stamp of approval on the elections, the mission urged the new government to implement media reforms, avail voters' roll on time for inspection, continuously update the voters roll and timely release funds to ZEC so as to enhance the electoral process.

But the United States and Britain have both discredited the Zimbabwean presidential and parliamentary elections.

Zimbabwe has been under sanctions by the European Union and the US for the past 13 years following the violent farm invasions of 2000.

Legal Action

Mwonzora, the opposition spokesperson, says his party is compiling a report on the irregularities that happened before and after the elections.

"We should have filed the court challenge by Friday this week challenging the outcome of presidential polls and about 100 results of the parliamentary elections."

The opposition party says it has evidence from its losing candidates across the country about the irregularities that took place, including voter intimidation, double voting, non-transparency in printing ballot boxes and manipulation of the voter.

It claims that two million extra ballots were printed, which amounts to 35% of the total ballot in violation of the SADC guideline which recommends not more than 5% extra ballots.

The constitution stipulates that the President can only be sworn in after the electoral challenges have been cleared and this has to be completed within 14 days.

Mugabe, 89, has extended his 33-year rule by a seventh five years.

He has been at the helm of power in this southern African country since it gained independence from Britain in 1980.

Last Mod: 07 Ağustos 2013, 09:46
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