Zimbabwe elections on 'unlevel playing field,' say European Union observers

Zimbabwe elections on 'unlevel playing field,' say European Union observers

That omission gave room for the electoral commission, which ZESN and the opposition have accused of bias, to manipulate the results in favour of Mnangagwa and the ZANU-PF party, Biti said. At least three protesters have been shot and killed.

Mr Mnangagwa said the violence was meant to disrupt the election and blamed the MDC leadership.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) said Wednesday that of 210 parliamentary seats, 205 had been counted with ZANU-PF winning 144 and the MDC Alliance 61.

In an indication of the growing tension, a crowd of about 100 MDC supporters gathered outside a Harare hotel where election results were being announced but police blocked the entrance to the building, a Reuters witness said.

Also speaking on VOA's Straight Talk Africa program, Den Moyo, chairman of the US branch of the Movement for Democratic Change, said Wednesday's developments and the questionable results that sparked the clashes, have taken Zimbabwe backwards.

He accused Zanu-PF of trying to "manipulate" the results, called V11 forms.

The first elections since long-time President Robert Mugabe was ousted past year have turned out to be controversial, with the main opposition candidate Nelson Chamisa questioning the impartiality of the results.

The violence which rocked Harare yesterday, left five people dead while several others are battling for life.

Mnangagwa's main contender, opposition leader Nelson Chamisa from the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), has already claimed he has won the election.

Protester, Colbert Mugwenhi said: "Why are the army here beating us?"

Emmerson Mnangagwa declared president elect of Zimbabwe
Mnangagwa of the ruling ZANU-PF party won 50.8% of the votes

"When you control two thirds majority in parliament, there is no way you can fail to win the presidential elections".

A wounded man takes shelter in a market stall in Harare as protests turned violent.

The MDC's spokesman, Nkululeko Sibanda called it a dark day in Zimbabwe's history.

Earlier the ZEC said it was still not ready to release the presidential results, but it would know later on Thursday exactly when those results could be made public. At one point, the relatives blocked hospital staff from wheeling the body to the mortuary and demanded a police explanation; a plainclothes officer said they could return Thursday to pick up the body after a police investigation.

"The more the presidential vote is delayed, the more it calls into question the population's confidence in the election process", said former Liberian leader Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the lead observer of a USA monitoring mission.

Mnangagwa, 75, had assured citizens of a free and fair vote after he came to power in November when the former president, Robert Mugabe was forced to resign.

Protests began shortly after Chamisa said he had won the popular vote.

"Deployment of troops reveals the uncomfortable truth that, eight months after Mugabe was ousted, the army remains the pre-eminent political force", said Piers Pigou, a Zimbabwe expert at the International Crisis Group think-tank.

"The longer it (the delay in announcing the results of the presidential race), the more the issue of lack of credibility arises", European Union observer Elmar Brok said.

What will happen in the presidential vote?

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