Tension in Zimbabwe as European Union observers raise red flag over poll credibility

Zimbabwean anti-riot police officers close the gate of the Rainbow Towers where the election's results were announced

Results so far indicate Zanu-PF won 109 seats, while opposition party Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) claimed just 41, giving incumbent president Emmerson Mnangagwa a majority. The commission said two seats were won by smaller parties and 58 seats had yet to be declared.

It is the first ballot since Robert Mugabe was ousted after 37 years in power.

The observers expressed concern about delays in releasing the results of the presidential contest.

Supporters of the Movement for Democratic Change, Zimbabwe's primary opposition party, protest against alleged fraud by the election authority and ruling party Wednesday in Harare.

But Chamisa has insisted he has won the popular vote and accused officials at the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission of attempting to "reverse" the results in favour of his opponent. Though some results in local races have been announced, she said full and official results might not be announced until the weekend.

Zanu-PF saw strong results in rural areas.

The EU's Chief Observer, Elmar Brok, said he did not yet know if the shortcomings would have a material effect on its outcome, and he criticized the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) for being at times "one-sided".

Mnangagwa, Mugabe's former right-hand man in ZANU-PF, was the clear election front-runner, benefitting from tacit military support, loyal state media and ruling party controls of government resources.

The MDC members say "they have stolen our election".

EU relaxes climate stance in trade sop to Trump
Meanwhile, on Tuesday, the White House said it is preparing a $12 billion aid package for USA farmers hit by trade tensions. But the administration's plan is not expected to be a long-term solution if the trade battles continue.

European Union observers are expected to give their report on Zimbabwe's presidential election Wednesday as the country waits impatiently for results of the first vote since Robert Mugabe was ousted after 37 years in power.

Now, almost 48 hours after polls closed, voters still await an official answer about who won the country's presidential election - and suspicion of electoral wrongdoing has gathered intensity in the capital city's streets.

Many Zimbabweans living in the CBD had planned to celebrate Chamisa's win at Joubert Park in Hillbrow, but whether this will still happen is unlikely.

Zimbabwe's main opposition has said Mr Chamisa won the presidential election, sparking street celebrations by supporters on Tuesday.

If no candidate wins more than half the votes in the presidential election, there will be a runoff in five weeks.

If no presidential candidate wins at least 50 percent of the ballots cast in the first round, a run-off vote is scheduled for September 8.

The southern African country this week held its first elections since the downfall of longtime leader Robert Mugabe in 2017.

Even though the election passed off peacefully, several water cannon trucks patrolled outside the central Harare headquarters of the MDC as its red-shirted supporters danced in the streets.

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