Zimbabwe President Mugabe re-elected amid fraud claims

 
Robert Mugabe (C) answers journalists questions after voting at a polling station at a school in Harare on 31 July Robert Mugabe has led Zimbabwe since independence in 1980

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe has won a seventh term in office, officials say, amid claims of electoral fraud.

Mr Mugabe, 89, won 61% of the vote, against Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's 34%.

Mr Tsvangirai earlier said the elections for parliament and president were fraudulent and promised to take legal action.

He said his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) would no longer work with Mr Mugabe's Zanu-PF party.

The two parties have been in a coalition since 2009, after the last election sparked widespread violence.

Results from this week's parliamentary election showed the MDC had been trounced, winning just 49 seats compared with Zanu-PF's 158.

In a news conference before the presidential result was announced, Mr Tsvangirai said Zimbabwe was "in mourning".

MDC party leader Morgan Tsvangirai called the election ''fraudulent and stolen''

"The fraudulent and stolen election has launched Zimbabwe into a constitutional, political and economic crisis," he said.

He said he would produce a dossier of the alleged electoral fraud and he called on the southern African regional bloc, Sadc, to investigate.

His MDC colleagues had earlier called for a campaign of civil disobedience to isolate Zanu-PF.

The European Union, which maintains sanctions on Mr Mugabe and his senior aides, said it was concerned about "alleged irregularities and reports of incomplete participation" in Wednesday's election.

Former colonial power the UK said it had grave concerns about the conduct of the election, and urged a thorough investigation of all allegations of violations.

The US state department also called for an investigation and said the results were not a "credible expression of the will of the Zimbabwean people".

Monitoring groups disagreed over the conduct of the election.

The most critical account came from the largest group of monitors, the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN), which had 7,000 workers observing the vote.

Zimbabwe's election

Zimbabweans line up near a polling station in Harare to vote in a general election on July 31
  • Robert Mugabe wins landslide in presidential election with 61% of vote
  • Mr Mugabe's Zanu-PF wins three-quarters of seats in parliamentary election
  • Morgan Tsvangirai fails to get elected president for a third time, calls election a "sham"
  • Voting passes off peacefully, but observers claim "irregularities" resulted in one million being unable to vote

The organisation said problems with voter registration had left up to one million people unable to cast their ballots, mostly in urban areas regarded as MDC strongholds.

On Saturday, one of the nine members of the election commission resigned over the way the election was conducted.

Commissioner Mkhululi Nyathi said in his resignation letter: "While throughout the whole process I retained some measure of hope that the integrity of the whole process could be salvaged along the way, this was not to be."

However, the African Union, which had 70 observers, said its initial report suggested the election was "free and credible".

The AU's mission chief Olusegun Obasanjo said there had been "incidents that could have been avoided" and asked Zimbabwe's election authorities to investigate claims that voters had been turned away from polling stations.

Sadc, with 600 observers, broadly endorsed the election as "free and peaceful", but said it would reserve judgement on the fairness of the process.

Major Western groups were not invited to send observer missions.

Mr Mugabe has been president since 1987. He became prime minister when Zimbabwe won independence from the UK in 1980.

 

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  • rate this
    -44

    Comment number 330.

    Proud day for Zimbabwe - Zimbabwe has spoken and peacefully so, the world needs to respect that. The West may not like Muagbe, but they need to respect the people's will, Mugabe and ZANU are the people's choice - end off!

    As AU mission aptly put, show me an election without faults, even in the UK pets appear on voter registers. Tsvangirai needs to retire - this is ridiculous!

  • rate this
    -13

    Comment number 305.

    You people who don't live here do not understand. This is Africa! It doesn't matter who is at the top. Except for the few people at the top, of course. For the rest of us, it makes no difference. What we need is stability, and with a good majority (no-one cares how he got it) that is what we may now have. Democracy doesn't work here. Is that a problem? Not for us.

  • rate this
    -5

    Comment number 219.

    Mugabe's land reform, taking farms from whites to give to blacks, has proved very successful and made Mugabe very popular in the countryside but this popularity hasn't been maintained in the cities. There is a very large proportion of the population that support Mugabe but probably not the two thirds of the population his win would suggest.

  • rate this
    +16

    Comment number 186.

    I was born and raised as a kid in "Rhodesia" 1972-1980 during the war, my parents British workers there. Smith was wrong to declare UDI, and should have integrated all races equally. Yes Rhodesia was a white construct, and was wrong. Having said that, how can true democracy mean domination by one man or party for 30 years? I was born there but now I am lost because I am white.

  • rate this
    +25

    Comment number 125.

    Mugabe's premature exuberance was indication enough that he had his factions in place & better organised than before. It also appears that a 'peaceful election' has been misconstrued as a 'fair election.' Mugabe was too confident by far & his statement; 'If you lose you must surrender' was not an acceptance of fate, it was ridiculing Tsvangirai.

 

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