The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission announced that ZANU-PF’s Emmerson Mnangagwa emerged victorious in the country’s presidential polls.
Nearly a week after Zimbabweans cast their votes in the national elections, Emmerson Mnangagwa has been declared the winner in the race, after bagging 50.8% of the total votes. The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission released the final batch of results in the early hours of Friday, 3 August 2018.
The ZANU-PF leader went up against the main opposition, the Movement for Democratic Change’s Nelson Chamisa, who received 44.3% of the votes. The commission said Mnangagwa, who will remain state leader, obtained 2.46 million votes against Chamisa’s 2.15 million.
Mnangagwa has expressed his gratitude for the victory. “Thank you Zimbabwe! I am humbled to be elected President of the Second Republic of Zimbabwe. Though we may have been divided at the polls, we are united in our dreams. This is a new beginning. Let us join hands, in peace, unity & love, & together build a new Zimbabwe for all!”, he said on Twitter.
Violence erupted on the streets of Harare on Wednesday, 1 August 2018, after the ZEC revealed that ZANU-PF was in the lead, in the paliamentary vote contest. MDC Alliance supporters protested the announcement in clashes with troops, alleging vote-rigging. Three people were reportedly killed in the aftermath of the unrest, which prompted Mnangagwa to call for peace.
A total 23 candidates took part in the election, some 55 parties also contested the parliamentary election, the biggest number by far since the country gained independence. Prior to the election, the country’s Constitutional Court ruled in May 2018 that Zimbabweans living abroad could not vote due to residency regulations.
The historic elections were the first without former President Robert Mugabe at the helm and less than a year before he was forced to resign in the wake of a military takeover. Mugabe ruled the country since it gained independence from Britain in 1980.