Zimbabwe: Opposition leader Nelson Chamisa claims presidential victory
Opposition leader Nelson Chamisa officially contests this Sunday the results of the presidential election, which gave victory to incumbent President Emmerson Mnangagwa by 52.6% of the vote against 44% for his main opponent. And where Zanu-PF, the party in power since independence, won 136 seats out of 210 against 73 for the main opposition party.
Nelson Chamisa, Zimbabwean presidential candidate and opposition leader. © Mike Hutchings / REUTERS
By: RFI Follow
With our correspondent in Johannesburg, Claire Bargelès
The opponent denounces a "coup by the ballot box". "We won this election," Nelson Chamisa told reporters. "We are in the lead, we will challenge these results, assembled hastily and without real verification," concluded the lawyer and pastor of 45 years, leader of the Coalition of Citizens for Change (CCC). He claims to have in his possession the documents that list the results by polling stations, and whose figures do not correspond to the combined results. The day before, while the re-election of Emmerson Mnangagwa, 80, was announced, two days early, as well as the victory of ZANU-PF in power, Nelson Chamisa had, in a post on the social network X (ex-Twitter), denounced "flagrant and massive fraud".
We are ready to form the next government," added Nelson Chamisa during his address to the media, without specifying exactly what the next step will be for his party, whilst confidence in the judicial system is very low according to EU observers.
A "mature democracy", welcomes President Mnangagwa
Wednesday's vote in Zimbabwe had to be extended on Thursday due to a lack of ballots in sufficient numbers, particularly in the capital Harare, and it took place in a climate of intimidation of voters at the gates of polling stations, actions that the head of the African Union observer mission, former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, referred to as potential "criminal offences".
Water cannons were deployed around the election center, the site five years ago of protests whose repression left six dead, when Emmerson Mnangagwa was proclaimed the winner ahead of, already, Nelson Chamisa.
For his part, re-elected as head of state for a second term, Emmerson Mnangagwa used his first speech to call for the "unity and stability" of the country.
Despite the many problems highlighted by international observers, including the extension of the voting day until the following day, which calls into question the smooth running of the vote, the Zimbabwean president said he was proud to govern a "mature democracy", and told those contesting the election that they "know where to go to complain".
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- Emmerson Mnangagwa