Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa won this week’s presidential election with 52.6% of the vote after the process was criticized by the opposition and international observers for its irregularities.

“Mnangagwa Emmerson Dambudzo of the ZANU-PF party is declared the duly elected President of the Republic of Zimbabwe,” Judge Chigumba, head of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, said at a news conference.

The Electoral Commission said Mnangagwa’s main opponent, Nelson Chamisa, won 44% of the vote.

Chamisa leads the opposition Citizens’ Coalition for Change. A party spokesman said in a post on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, that it “dismisses any result hastily compiled without proper verification”.

80-year-old Mnangagwa is nicknamed “the crocodile” because of his ruthlessness. Image: Iranian Presidency/AA/Picture Alliance

The election was seen as a high-risk election as the South African country has suffered for years from rapid inflation, sharp currency depreciation and an unemployment crisis.

What do we know about the election?

Observer missions have cast doubt on the integrity of this week’s vote.

The election was supposed to take place on just one day, Wednesday, but voting was extended to Thursday due to delays and problems printing ballots.

The European Union mission said the election took place in a “climate of fear”.

Voter turnout was 69%.

On Wednesday evening, police arrested 41 election observers working for local pro-democracy NGOs and confiscated their computers and mobile phones.

The police accused them of “illegally” tabulating the results of the polling stations.

Zimbabweans voted in key elections: Knox Chitiyo, Chatham House

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Abusing state institutions to stay in power?

80-year-old Mnangagwa is nicknamed “the crocodile” because of his ruthlessness.

He assumed leadership of the country when his predecessor, longtime strongman Robert Mugabe, was overthrown in a military coup in 2017.

But his ruling party, ZANU-PF, has been in power for 43 years and has been accused of using state institutions to rig elections in its favour.

Mnangagwa and Chamisa also fought each other in the last vote in 2018. The opposition at the time claimed the vote had been rigged, but the result was upheld by the Constitutional Court.

rmt/sri (AFP, Reuters, AP)

Source : www.dw.com

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