Early results released by the Zimbabwean Electoral Commission suggests President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu-PF has delivered a crushing victory, winning 52 of the 62 seats which have been announced.
There are about 200 constituencies in total.
Zanu-PF has regained some of the seats it had lost to the MDC-T in urban areas, such as Harare, in 2008.
Several MDC-T ministers have lost their parliamentary seats in MDC-T strongholds, including Education Minister David Coltart, party secretary-general and Finance Minister Tendai Biti, and Minister in the Presidency Jameson Timba.
However, the MDC-T has rejected the results, which have been endorsed by the African Union and the Southern African Development Community observer missions.
Church formations in Zimbabwe and Zambia, which were also observing the elections, also declared them free and fair.
Youth Minister Saviour Kasukuwere told The Guardian: “It’s a landslide, a total annihilation of the MDC. Their project has failed”.
Kasukuwere said this despite Mugabe’s warning to resist the temptation to announce results before an official announcement by the ZEC.
Yesterday the head of the AU’s observer mission, and former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, paid Mugabe a surprise visit at his official residence, State House.
“We came, saw and we are now going back. We want to say we wish this country and its leaders success. We have witnessed an election that was free and fair,” he said.
Michael Bratton, a senior advisor at one of the leading pollsters in Africa, Afrobarometer, wrote in a recent article in the academic journal, Foreign Affairs, that Mugabe had put in place government and legal structures to assure his return to office long before the elections.
“Mugabe and Zanu-PF seem to recognise that an open replay of 2008’s electoral brutality will only undermine the validity of their rule,” he wrote in the article, ‘Zimbabwe’s Underhanded Autocrat’. “Therefore, they now rhetorically proclaim peace while reaping the harvest of fear that they planted during earlier periods of intimidation.”
Before the polls Mugabe had called for a peaceful election.
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