Zimbabwe election: Troops clash with opposition protesters

Zimbabwe election results Could the opposition party win

"I believe that the parliamentary results were released first as a psychological ploy to dampen opposition expectations regarding the presidential vote", Prof.

Mugabe, 94, had ruled the country since it declared its independence from minority-white rule in 1980, steadily metamorphosing from a hero of the liberation to an iron-fisted leader intolerant of dissent.

Before the violence, EU Chief Observer Elmar Brok said he did not yet know if the shortcomings would have a material effect on the outcome of the vote, but criticised the electoral commission for being at times "one-sided".

Soldiers on a street in Harare Wednesday.

"On many occasions preparation, financing, media and hopefully not in the counting it was advantageous for the ruling party", European Union chief observer Elmar Brok told AFP.

With elections under Mugabe marred by fraud and often deadly violence, his successor Mnangagwa, 75, had promised a free and fair vote and invited global observers.

The government has condemned the opposition for the protesters who threw rocks and set fires after the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission said the ruling ZANU-PF party had won a parliamentary majority in the election Monday.

Dozens of opposition supporters gathered Tuesday evening at their headquarters in the capital, Harare, celebrating in the belief that they had won the presidential election based on results they said they collected from agents in the field.

"We have won this one together".

"We have been in communication with Nelson Chamisa to discuss how to immediately diffuse the situation‚ and we must maintain this dialogue in order to protect the peace we hold dear‚" he tweeted.

The observers had been invited by the ZANU-PF's leader, President Emmerson Mnangagwa as part of his "guarantee" of a "free, fair and transparent election" and their verdict on the poll was mixed.

The turmoil started soon after opposition leader Nelson Chamisa claimed he had won the popular vote.

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The opposition says it condemns violence in all its forms. We've more votes than ED [Emmerson Dambudzo].

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission is by law given up to five days to release the results.

"The longer it lasts that the results of the presidential election is not known, the more lack of credibility it provides", he said.

Chigumba, a high court judge, has flatly denied allegations of bias and strongly disputed accusations of rigging.

The violence appeared to dash the hopes of Zimbabweans that the peaceful vote would lift them out of decades of economic and political stagnation under Mr Mugabe.

It followed a surprise press conference at which he stunned observers and called for voters to reject ZANU-PF, his former party.

"We must all demonstrate patience and maturity, and act in a way that puts our people and their safety first", Mnangagwa wrote on Twitter.

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe delivers a speech during a live broadcast at State House in Harare, November 19, 2017.

But Chamisa, a lawyer and pastor, sought to tap into the youth and urban vote.

ZEC has been accused of involvement in previous flawed votes in Zimbabwe.

Members of the military gesture to the photographer as they patrol the streets of the capital Harare, Zimbabwe, August 2, 2018.

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