Zimbabwe ruling party wins parliament as vote integrity doubted

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On August 2 soldiers and police clear the streets of Harare as tensions mount ahead of the release of the results of the presidential ballot, the election authority asking the public "to be patient".

Demonstrators took to the streets, angry that the victor of Monday's vote still hadn't been announced and convinced that the vote has been rigged to benefit incumbent President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his party, the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front.

Last night Biti urged the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to release the election results, claiming the delay was evidence Zanu-PF was trying to rig the poll.

With three seats yet to be declared, Mnangagwa's ruling ZANU-PF party had 144 seats compared to 61 for the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), meaning the ruling party achieved a two-thirds majority which would allow it to change the constitution at will.

Despite promises by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission that they would soon state when exactly they would release the results of the presidential election, opposition supporters have said they would continue to protest.

What will happen in the presidential vote?

The 94-year-old former leader had been in power since independence from white minority rule in 1980 until he was forced to resign after the military and ruling ZANU-PF party turned on him. At least three protesters have been shot and killed.

A credible vote is crucial to the lifting of worldwide sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe so that its collapsed economy can recover.

Britain called for "calm and restraint", urging "political leaders to take responsibility.at this critical moment", while Amnesty International said the "people must be guaranteed their right to protest".

Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa said he seeks to "peacefully" end election crisis while his government vowed to enforce a security crackdown to prevent further unrest in Harare.

. So, I know we have won the presidential election but we wait for the proper announcement of the results.

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Protesters surrounded vehicles belonging to the observer missions as they passed through downtown Harare.

Home Affairs Minister Obert Mpofu accused individuals and parties of inciting violence by declaring themselves winners before the results were announced.

"Yesterday's events leave ordinary citizens with serious doubts that this government is any different from its predecessor, if not worse", the forum said, referring to the long rule of Mugabe, who resigned in November under military pressure.

"It is unfortunate that this election has descended into bloodshed, which could have been avoided if security forces had exercised restraint against protesters", said Colm Ó Cuanacháin, Amnesty International's Acting Secretary General.

It alleges that the governing Zanu-PF party has rigged Monday's elections.

The commission postponed announcing results of Monday's tightly fought presidential race, pitting Mr Mnangagwa against Mr Chamisa.

The ZEC was synonymous with fraud and bias under Mugabe, when elections were often marred by deadly violence.

The military deployment was the first time that soldiers had appeared in the capital's streets since a military takeover led to the ouster of Mugabe in November. "They are there to assist the police".

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