Zimbabwe elections on 'un-level playing field', say EU observers

Official results strengthened President Emmerson Mnangagwa's prospects of holding on to power in the key presidential vote, showing that ZANU-PF had easily won the most seats in the parliamentary ballot.

Zimbabwe elections on 'un-level playing field', say EU observers

World Bulletin / News Desk

European Union observers said Wednesday that Zimbabwe's elections had been held on an "un-level playing field" as opposition MDC supporters protested against alleged fraud by the election authority and ruling ZANU-PF party.

Several hundred opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) supporters gathered outside the party headquarters in Harare, chanting and shouting that they had won the elections.

Anti-riot police backed by water cannon trucks monitored the demonstrators, while MDC supporters also protested outside the conference centre where election results are being announced.

The EU mission found an "improved political climate, but (an) un-level playing field and lack of trust in the process," it said in a statement, two days after Zimbabwe's first ballot since Robert Mugabe was ousted by the military ending his 37-year rule.

EU chief observer Elmar Brok said there were "efforts to undermine the free expression of the will of the electors through inducements, soft intimidation, pressure and coercion... to try to ensure a vote in favour of the ruling party."

"On many occasions, preparation, financing, media and hopefully not in the counting -- it was advantageous for the ruling party," he told AFP as the mission called for transparency in the release of results.

Mnangagwa, 75, had promised a free and fair vote after the military ushered him to power in November when Mugabe was forced to resign.

Last Mod: 01 Ağustos 2018, 15:36
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