Zimbabweans go to first polls since Mugabe's ouster

Analysts view this vote as crucial because it gives Zimbabwe a chance to return to democratic rule

Zimbabweans go to first polls since Mugabe's ouster

World Bulletin / News Desk

Zimbabweans on Monday began voting in the first presidential election since longtime leader Robert Mugabe was ousted last year.

Twenty-three presidential candidates are in the race, although the main contest is between incumbent President Emmerson Mnangagwa of the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) and 40-year-old Nelson Chamisa of the MDC Alliance.

The mood is electric as many first-time voters queued outside polling stations.

“I woke up at five in the morning and made it to the polling station. I am excited as I will be voting for the first time. I will be voting for change as I am unemployed,” Innocent Chokuda, a 24-year-old voter in Harare said.

More than 5 million voters are registered, 40 percent of them below 35 years.

Zimbabwe is using the bio-metric voters' roll for the first time and a number of complaints were raised a few weeks ago concerning accountability and printing of the ballot papers. 

So far, 35 cases of inter-party violence were reported.

Analysts view this election as crucial because it gives Zimbabwe a chance to return to democracy following the ouster of Mugabe, after a 38-year-old dictatorial rule, through a military coup in November last year.

Chamisa said: "It's a great moment for Zimbabwe and just hoping the mood is the same in the rural area and that the ballot paper there is genuine. I hope the elections fulfill the aspirations of the young and I respect the young.”

Mnangagwa said he had no problems with Mugabe’s statement on the eve of Election Day.

“Mr Mugabe is a citizen of this country and is free to issue any statement,” he said, after casting his vote in Kwekwe, nearly 200 kilometers (124 miles) south of the capital.

Mugabe said on Sunday, he would not be voting for Mnangagwa and ZANU-PF because the same people are tormenting him.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 30 Temmuz 2018, 13:12