Vote counting under way in historic Zimbabwe elections

Posted by Hamza Mohamed | 31 July 2018 | 1,303 times

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Vote counting has started in Zimbabwe's first general election since long-term President Robert Mugabe was pushed out of office last year.

Electoral officials said turnout at Monday's vote averaged 75 percent.

"It is our view that the high voter turnout is indicative of the sound voter education and publicity conducted on a receptive electorate," Priscilla Chigumba, electoral commission chief, told reporters in the capital, Harare.

More than five million people registered to take part in the closely contested elections.

The electoral body said 90 percent of the polling stations had opened on time by 8am local time (05:00 GMT).

In the capital, Harare, long queues of voters were formed for several hours prior to the opening of the polls, before easing by mid-afternoon. Polls closed at 17:00 GMT.

Twenty-three candidates are competing for the presidency, with incumbent President Emmerson Mnangagwa, 75, of ZANU-PF facing stiff competition from the youthful Nelson Chamisa, the 40-year-old leader of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

Earlier in the day, both Mnangagwa and Chamisa were optimistic and promised to deliver change.

"This country is enjoying democratic space which has never been experienced before," Mnangagwa said after casting his vote in the central city of Kwekwe.

For his part, Chamisa went a step ahead.

"I have no doubt by the end of the day here, we should be very clear as to an emphatic voice for change. And I represent that," Chamisa said after voting in Harare, surrounded by enthusiastic supporters. (Aljazeera)

Voter turnout was high in the country's first election since Robert Mugabe was pushed out of office last year [Mike Hutchings/Reuters]

Source: News Express

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