Ruling party Zanu-PF wins majority of parliamentary seats in Zimbabwe election

Supporters of Zimbabwe's opposition party attend a rally in Chitungwiza outside Harare Zimbabwe

The MDC Alliance says the ruling Zanu-PF party has rigged Monday's presidential and parliamentary vote.

The latest results announced by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission showed Zanu-PF had won at least 109 seats, enough for a majority in the 210-seat lower house of parliament.

The commission postponed announcing results of Monday's tightly fought presidential race, pitting President Emmerson Mnangagwa against opposition leader Nelson Chamisa.

Ninety-four-year-old Mugabe, who was accused of political violence and rigging elections during his almost four decades in power, voted in Harare alongside his wife Grace.

Crowds burnt tyres in the centre of the capital Harare, blocking some streets and engaging in running battles with police who fired water cannon to disperse the protestors.

The polls - the first since autocratic president Robert Mugabe was forced out by a brief military takeover in November - had offered Zimbabwe the chance of turning the page on a brutal chapter of its past.

Truckloads of anti-riot officers were called in to help clear the streets as tensions escalated. Their allegation: The commission has delayed its full official announcement in order to rig the vote for incumbent President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his party, the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front.

Even before the violence, European Union observers questioned the conduct of the presidential and parliamentary poll, the first since Mugabe's forced resignation after almost 40 years in charge of the Southern African nation.

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More than five million people were registered to vote - with a high turnout of 70%.

Official results show the ruling Zanu-PF party won the most seats in the parliamentary ballot, but the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) rejected the outcome and claimed there had been fraud. "We won the popular vote (and) will defend it", Chamisa said on Twitter.

She said she was confident there was no "cheating" and that the commission will respect the will of Zimbabweans: 'We will not steal their choice of leaders, we will not subvert their will'.

It suggested there was a deliberate effort to delay announcing the results, reflecting deep suspicion about the panel presiding over the election. Otherwise, a run-off election will be held on 8 September.

Earlier yesterday, the European Union observers criticised the government's use of power during the election.

The mission said "a truly level playing field was not achieved" in the election, pointing out the "misuse of state resources, instances of coercion and intimidation, partisan behaviour by traditional leaders and overt bias in state media".

Hundreds of Zimbabwe opposition MDC supporters gathered outside a Harare hotel where election results were being announced but police blocked the entrance to the building. They need a good change.

A Zanu-PF spokesman told the BBC he had "no clue" what Mr Biti was talking about.

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