Zimbabwe’s opposition leader Nelson Chamisa, filed a court challenge against President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s election victory, he wrote on Twitter, a step that would delay Mnangagwa’s inauguration that had been planning for August, 12.
Under the constitution, a losing presidential candidate has seven days to challenge the result from when a winner is declared. The Constitutional Court must rule within 14 days and Mnangagwa’s inauguration would have to wait for the outcome of Chamisa’s challenge.
Earlier this month, Mnangagwa secured a comfortable victory, according to results from the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, polling 2.46 million votes against 2.15 million for the 40-year-old Chamisa. The opposition said the result was rigged.
Three people have been killed in Zimbabwe capital Harare in confrontation protesters, and troops, firing live ammunition, teargas and water cannon amid rising tension following presidential elections.
The army was deployed in the capital on after it became clear that police is unable to cope with a wave of demonstrators who were indignant, claiming historic election is being rigged.
Zimbabwe’s ruling party ZANU-PF has won the majority seats in parliament, results from the electoral commission said a day after the opposition accused the agency of deliberately delaying results in ZANU-PF’s favor.
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission results indicated incumbent President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s ZANU-PF received a comfortable majority with 109 seats against 41 for the opposition Movement for Democratic Change. The 58 seats are to be declared.
Experts fear a potential for unrest in Zimbabwe, with both candidates claiming victory in elections.
If the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) led by Nelson Chamisa loses the result there could be street protests with a potential for violence, and a protracted legal process that could stunt economic reforms, experts say.
In case the ruling party failure, many Zimbabweans fear Emmerson Mnangagwa will not accept the result, particularly given the huge risk they took in removing Mugabe.
The incumbent President of Zimbabwe Emmerson Mnangagwa asked for calm and restraint, while waiting for an official result.
Following an invitation by the Zimbabwean authorities, the European Union has deployed an Election Observation Mission (EOM) to Zimbabwe to observe the harmonised elections, scheduled for 30 July 2018. This is a further demonstration of the European Union’s long-term commitment to support credible, transparent and inclusive elections worldwide.
Federica Mogherini, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, has appointed Elmar Brok, Member of the European Parliament, as Chief Observer of the EU Election Observation Mission to Zimbabwe.
“These elections will be key for the future of Zimbabwe. The future president, parliament and local government councils will have the responsibility of steering the transition process in the country. Zimbabweans can count on the strong support of the European Union and of the international community. Its stability and economic growth are key for the entire region and for the European Union as well. I am confident that the mission under the leadership of Chief Observer Elmar Brok will make an important contribution to this electoral process,” said the EU top diplomat Federica Mogherini.
Zimbabwe will invite observers from the West to monitor its national elections for the first time in more than 15 years, official papers showed, ending a ban imposed by veteran former leader Robert Mugabe.
The vote, scheduled for July, is seen is a major test for President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s democratic credentials since he came to power in November after a de facto army coup ousted Mugabe (94).
Zimbabwe will invite the United States, the EU, Australia and the Commonwealth among 46 countries and 15 organisations, a list released by the foreign affairs ministry showed.
The countries and groups on the list were all previously banned from watching elections in 2002 after Mugabe accused them of favouring his opponents.
The West slapped sanctions on Mugabe and members of his inner circle, accusing them of rigging a series of votes – charges they denied.
Joey Bimha, permanent secretary at the foreign ministry, said the invitations would be sent out soon but declined to give more details.
Charles Tannock, MEP (UK, ECR), member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament shares his views on possible democratic developments in Zimbabwe in the aftermath of Robert Mugabe impeachment. Although an emerging new leader of the country Emmerson Mnangagwa used to be Mugabe’s closes aid, Tannock does not exclude the changes towards democratisation in domestic and foreign policy during Mnangagwa presidency. Tannock claims the European Parliament has been always paying greatest attention to the situation in Zimbabwe, calling the government in numerous resolutions to respect human rights and rule of law. However a glimpse of hope for better future for Zimbabweans came with a new leadership, the MEPs follow with keen attention Emmerson Mnangagwa’ next steps.