Zimbabwe was set yesterday to release official results of elections in which Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe’s party has claimed a thumping victory, as the opposition held emergency talks over the “sham” polls.
The capital was quiet ahead of the announcement of the final tally with Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party having already claimed the 140 seats in parliament required to amend the constitution.
“We have already gone beyond two-thirds. It’s a super majority,” a top party official said on condition of anonymity.
With 186 of 210 constituencies officially counted after Wednesday’s disputed poll, Mugabe’s party already had a commanding lead, winning 137 seats in parliament.
Party spokesman Rugare Gumbo said: “Our opponents don’t know what hit them,” adding that the 89-year-old Mugabe could win “70 to 75 percent” in the presidential vote.
The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) of opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who described the vote as a “huge farce,” went into emergency talks yesterday to decide their next steps.
The MDC has vowed not to accept the election results, sparking fears of a repeat of bloody violence that marked the aftermath of the 2008 election.
“Emotions are high, tensions are high across the country,” MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa said.
While on the streets things have remained calm, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged both political rivals to send “clear messages of calm” to their supporters.
Ban hopes that the broadly “calm and peaceful atmosphere” of election day “will prevail during the vote counting and throughout the completion of the electoral process,” his spokesman Martin Nesirky said.