Zimbabwe Protesters Killed as Nation Awaits Presidential Election Results

Zimbabwe Protesters Killed as Nation Awaits Presidential Election Results

Zimbabwe Protesters Killed as Nation Awaits Presidential Election Results

Zimbabwe's long-ruling Zanu-PF party won a parliamentary majority in the country's election, causing opposition supporters to take to the streets alleging rigging.

Troops have opened fire in Zimbabwe's capital Harare after opposition supporters went on the rampage.

The figures from the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission showed ZANU-PF with 109 seats in the 210-seat parliament.The main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) had 41 seats.

State broadcaster ZBC reported that the electoral commission would announce the presidential results at 12:30 local time (10:30 GMT).

"The opposition. have perhaps interpreted our understanding to be weak, and I think they are testing our resolve and I think they are making a big mistake". Some journalists also were attacked.

Inevitably, perhaps, the riot police then the army arrived and they gradually retook the city centre by force.

At-least one person has been killed during the protests. There were pools and trails of blood on the streets.

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 Mugabe, but the country is haunted by a history of electoral violence and manipulation that means trust is scarce.

With the rise of reactions in the angry crowd, the security officials brought reinforcement with one police truck and several water cannon trucks kept a watchful eye but did not interfere.

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

Separately, European Union election observers released a report noting "soft intimidation" and an "unlevel playing field" during the leadup to Monday's historic vote - the first since the ousting of long-time leader Robert Mugabe. Now they are not happy.

A man who was shot in the back by a live round fired by the Zimbabwean Army lies on the ground bleeding during a protest against the vote count in Harare. Under Mugabe, the law was used routinely to ban anti-government meetings and demonstrations since its enactment in 2002.

At least 23 candidates are part of the Presidential race although the stiff competition is between ZANU-PF's Mnangagwa and MDC's Nelson Chamisa.

"Are we in war?" Are civilians the enemy of the state? All parties must exercise patience and restraint while we await the announcement of the full results.

Regional observer missions have endorsed Zimbabwe's landmark elections saying they were orderly and within the law.

"While we appreciate that the electoral environment was relatively peaceful and a huge turnout at polling stations, we reiterate that electoral processes must always reflect and uphold the true will of the citizens", the coalition said on Wednesday.

He said he did not understand why the election commission was taking so long to release results and that it would lose credibility with further delays.

"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 U.S. monitoring mission.

The parliamentary results strengthened the chances of President Emmerson Mnangagwa holding power, but triggered MDC demonstrations in Harare and fears of clashes between angry opposition supporters and the government.

Amnesty's acting secretary general Colm O Cuanachain said in a press release that the "militarisation" of the election aftermath "is muzzling freedom of expression, association and assembly".

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