President Robert Mugabe from Zanu-PF was declared president of Zimbabwe for a seventh term after getting an convincing majority of more than 61.1% of the votes, as opposed to his rival, Morgan Tsvangirai, who got 33.9%.
In Parliament, Mugabe’s Zanu-PF won 76% of the 210 seats (160), while Tsvangirai got 49. An independent candidate won the remaining seat.
Zanu-PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo said his party was “happy and excited” about the result. “The people of Zimbabwe had agreed about (re-electing Mugabe) and we are excited.”
There were reports of celebrations in the Harare suburb of Mbare tonight and they was expected to spread across the country.
Security was stepped up in Harare today ahead of the announcement of the election results with police roadblocks spotted on routes into town.
On an open piece of land next to the Rainbow Towers Hotel, where the announcement happened, two water cannons were parked next to two army tents. No crowds were spotted on the square.
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission chairperson Rita Makarau made the announcement around 6pm.
The announcement was carried live on television by the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation.
Meanwhile, Mugabe’s rival, MDC-T leader and former prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai, said his party would be challenging the elections results and would “not engage in any institutions of government”.
The party would, however, decide “at an appropriate time” whether to withdraw its 49 MPs comprising just under a quarter of the 210-seat National Assembly.
Gumbo said MDC-T was out of government anyway so their withdrawal from the institutions didn’t mean anything.
“But it is good that they are coming to Parliament,” he said.
He said the MDC-T couldn’t violently disrupt Mugabe’s swearing-in because government had “security on our side”.
In terms of the law, any challenge to the elections results has to be settled within seven days and the swearing-in of the president happens within 48 hours of that.
Tsvangirai, at a press conference at his plush house in the leafy Highlands suburb of Harare shortly before Mugabe was declared elected president, told journalists his party would be presenting its evidence of vote-rigging to the African Union and the Southern African Development Community observer missions.
Both these had declared the Zimbabwean elections free, but expressed concerns that these might not have been fair.
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