Zimbabwe officials wait to release vote results

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We will be giving you the results as Zec officially makes the announcements.

With 5.6 million registered voters, the results of the presidential, parliamentary and local elections are due by Aug 4.

But Bloomberg reported that the Zimbabwe Election Support Network, an association of 34 civil rights and religious organisations, said that while the political environment was calm and peaceful, the ruling party utilised state resources to campaign, used aid to force people to vote for it and enjoyed more favourable media coverage.

Asked on the credibility of the elections, Justice Chigumba said she is "absolutely confident that the elections were not rigged and we want to show the world that we won't steal or subvert the will of the people".

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission put voter turnout as high as 75% in some areas.

A run-off vote is scheduled for Sep 8 if no presidential candidate wins at least 50 per cent.

Chigumba said most of the 11 000 polling stations have now completed counting the votes and only the verification process is underway.

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The voting started Monday, with long lines forming at polling stations across Zimbabwe.

For the first time ever, Robert Mugabe has not been an election candidate in Zimbabwe.

The commission said it would delay releasing any results of the presidential race until all the votes are collated. The peaceful election was a break from votes marred by violence.

Mnangagwa also called on "citizens and candidates alike to exercise responsibility and restraint by patiently waiting" for official results.

"In African elections, often stakes are very high and nobody has a backup plan for losing", said John Dramani Mahama, former president of Ghana and head of the observer mission from the Commonwealth nations, mostly former British colonies.

Zimbabweans are awaiting the first results from an election that they hope will lift the country out of economic and political stagnation after decades of rule by former leader Robert Mugabe.

"It is unlawful to announce results because it is in direct contravention of section 60 (A) subsection B of the Electoral Act", she said.