Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa has been declared winner of the presidential elections.
According to AFP, Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) declared Mnangagwa as the winner, despite the opposition rejecting the results.
“Mnangagwa Emmerson Dambudzo of ZANU-PF party is declared duly elected president of the Republic of Zimbabwe,” ZEC chairwoman Justice Chigumba told journalists.
ZEC declared that 80-year-old Zanu PF incumbent Emmerson Mnangagwa the winner with 52 percent of the vote. Opposition leader Nelson Chamisa, 45, who heads the Citizens Coalition for Change, got 44 percent, according to an announcement from the commission.
The presidential results were welcomed by the celebratory cheers of a few ruling party supporters at the news conference venue.
Zimbabwe went to the polls on Wednesday but after the ZEC failed to provide ballots to voters in the capital Harare and in Bulawayo, Mnangagwa had to extend voting by an additional day.
AFP reported that Promise Mkwananzi, a spokesman for Chamisa’s Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) said the party did not sign the final tally, which he described as “false”.
“We cannot accept the results,” he told AFP, adding the party would soon announce its next move.
The vote was being watched across southern Africa as a test of support for Mnangagwa’s ZANU-PF, whose 43-year rule has been battered by a moribund economy and charges of authoritarianism.
AFP stated that Foreign poll monitors said on Friday that the elections had failed to conform to regional and international standards.
Going further, Observer missions from the European Union, Commonwealth and the 16-nation Southern African Development Community (SADC) listed a number of concerns, including the banning of opposition rallies, issues with the voters roll, biased state media coverage and voter intimidation.
Chigumba of ZEC said Mnangagwa had won more than 2.3 million votes, Chamisa more than 1.9 million.
By securing more than half the votes cast, the president avoided a run-off. Voter turnout was 69 percent.
Nicknamed “The Crocodile” because of his ruthlessness, Mnangagwa first came to power after a coup that deposed the late ruler Robert Mugabe in 2017.