Zimbabwe’s electoral commission says President Mnangagwa has won a second term

Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa has been re-elected for a second five-year term, in a result announced earlier than expected and likely to be highly scrutinized due to previous disputed elections.

Election results: President Mnangagwa, of the ZANU-PF party which has governed Zimbabwe since 1980, won with 52.6% of the votes.
* The main opposition leader, Nelson Chamisa, secured 44% of the votes.
* The results were released about 48 hours after polls closed, much earlier than anticipated.

Opposition reaction: The opposition party has contested the results, alleging they were “hastily assembled without proper verification.”
* This extends ZANU-PF’s rule to nearly half a century, as it also retained its parliamentary majority in the election.
* A spokesman for Chamisa’s party insisted they would advise citizens on their next steps as the situation develops.

Background context: Known as “the crocodile,” Mnangagwa replaced previous long-ruling leader Robert Mugabe after a coup in 2017, then narrowly won the disputed 2018 election against Chamisa.
* This victory led to unrest and fatalities on the streets.
* Armed police guarded the national results center due to previous violence during announcement of poll results.

Concerns regarding the election: The election day ran over by one day due to delays with the printing of ballot papers.
* International election observers have raised interestedness, alluding to an environment of intimidation against opposition supporters and election meddling.
* Accusations have also been made that a ruling party affiliate was collecting details of voters at polling booths.
* Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have alleged use of police and courts by the government to silence dissent amidst economic turmoil.

Reaction on the ground: The early results have been met with resignation by many, contributing to empty streets in Harare.
* Locals express doubt over the election results and discuss leaving the country as the best option moving forward.

View original article on NPR

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