Landmark Zimbabwean elections begin

(dpa) - Voting got underway in Zimbabwe Saturday in an election where President Robert Mugabe faces an uphill battle to retain his 28-year grip on power.

Some 5.9 million Zimbabweans are listed as registered to vote in the presidential, parliamentary and local polls. Mugabe, 84, faces a stiff challenge in his bid for another five years as president from Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai and former finance minister Simba Makoni, standing as an independent.

Polling stations across the country - around 9,000 in total - opened at 7 am (0500 GMT) and were due to close at 7 pm.

The elections are being held against the backdrop of Zimbabwe's economic collapse, characterized by inflation of more than 100,000 per cent, shortages of staple foods, fuel and cash and the flight into exile of around one-quarter of the population of 12 million.

Mugabe's populist policies, including the lawless seizure by ruling party members and cronies of thousands of white-owned farms since 2000, are widely blamed for the situation.

The polls are likely to be chaotic because voters are being asked for the first time to choose a new president, a new 210-member House of Assembly, 60-seat senate and local government - all in one day.

Election watchdog organizations have already raised concerns over the fairness of the polls, citing several irregularities skewing the process in Mugabe's favour. The MDC has called for large-scale protests in the event of rigging.

The last three elections since 2000, which Mugabe has won, have been described as flawed by Western observers.

Subscribe to Trend in Google News! Subscribe
Truck collides with passenger bus in Baku (PHOTO)
Truck collides with passenger bus in Baku (PHOTO)
Nizami Ganjavi International Center hosts side event as part of UN General Assembly's 76th session  (VIDEO)
Nizami Ganjavi International Center hosts side event as part of UN General Assembly's 76th session (VIDEO)
Indian gov't says 75 pct of stolen heritage returned during last seven years
Indian gov't says 75 pct of stolen heritage returned during last seven years
Loading Bars
Latest
Iran to prepare budget bill with highest economic growth estimates - President Raisi
Construction and installation work under completion at Khojasan metro station (PHOTO)
Dynamics of OPEC+ production in 2021-2023
Share of Iranian government in earnings from crude oil exports to decrease – Official
Some try to use helicopter crash for political purposes - Azerbaijan's prosecutor general (PHOTO)
Each of those killed in helicopter crash in Azerbaijan became martyr and glorified Motherland
Azerbaijan sees increase in local payments of foreigners via bank cards
Azerishig OJSC reveals work done to supply power to Azerbaijan’ Kalbajar
Russian Moscow Exchange and Uzbek Toshkent Stock Exchange sign co-op agreement
Turkey increases volume of crude oil import for 10M2021
Turkey shares data on marine fuel exports to Georgia
Volume of industrial production in Uzbekistan increases - Bluestone Investment Bank
Uzbekistan eyes to construct new hydroelectric power plants
Azerbaijan increases cars import over 10M2021
Turkmenistan discloses amount of products sold via local commodity exchange
Iran sees increase in value of trade turnover via Mazandaran Province customs
Turkmenistan’s State Concern open tender for fertilizer plant construction
Azerbaijan doubles export of non-food products
Azerbaijan, Nepal consider signing agreement in IT sector - AIDIA CEO
Azerbaijan may help Nepal to solve cybersecurity issues - CEO of AIDIA
Azerbaijani helicopter crash victims buried in second Alley of Martyrs
Azerbaijan compiles rating of state, non-state exporters
Azerbaijan reveals sales volume via Azexport website for 10M2021
Implementation of North-South Int’l transport Corridor intensifies Azerbaijan-Iran relations - analysis
JP Morgan forecasts increase in regional oil demand
Closest place for buying a Bakcell number
Сertain countries can abandon use of LNG altogether
LNG supply expected to grow over near term – Fitch Solutions
Iran's Energy Exchange announces products to be on sale on Dec. 1
Survivors of military helicopter crash in Azerbaijan talk about incident (VIDEO)
Turkmenistan-Azerbaijan-Iran gas swap deal to open more possibilities of co-op – Rystad Energy
Azercosmos discloses its revenues from services export for 10M2021
German state reports four fully vaccinated people infected with Omicron
Azerbaijan's ASAN Visa model - best solution for Nepal's tourism sector, AIDIA CEO says
Azerbaijan holds farewell ceremony for servicemen who died in military helicopter crash (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Georgia to launch new agriculture insurance program in 2022
Turkmenistan's Turkmenbashi refinery to purchase chemicals through tender
Bodies of Azerbaijani servicemen from military helicopter crash, taken to farewell ceremony (PHOTO)
President of European Council hints at Georgia being among most reliable partners for EU
Rasht-Astara railway of great importance to Iran - Iranian official
First President of Kazakhstan expresses condolences to President Ilham Aliyev over deaths of Azerbaijani servicemen as result of helicopter crash
President Ilham Aliyev calls First President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev
Volume of cargo loaded/unloaded in ports of Iran’s Abadan County soars
Georgia releases COVID-19 data for December 1
UK ambassador views de-mining work in Azerbaijan’s Tartar (PHOTO)
Kazakhstan's revenues from passenger transport via internal waters skyrocket
Azerbaijani oil prices decrease
Interest in dev’t strategy of inland transportation via 'One Belt One Road' growing - analyst
Covishield 63% effective against Covid, 81% against moderate-severe infection: Study
Bodies of Azerbaijani servicemen from fatal helicopter crash, handed over to their relatives (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Russian Embassy expresses condolences to Azerbaijan due to military helicopter crash of State Border Service (PHOTO)
Azerbaijani currency rates for December 1
Uzbekistan reveals its top polyethylene export destinations in 10M2021
Iranian currency rates for Dec. 1
US Ambassador to Azerbaijan expresses condolences for lives lost in crash of military helicopter
Azerbaijan reveals ongoing construction of Shukurbeyli-Jabrayil-Hadrut highway (PHOTO)
Azerbaijani FM to take part in meeting of OSCE FMs
Tesla dominates as EV sales take off in Israel
ADB funding bridge construction in Georgia
Uzbekistan shares domestic COVID-19 data for November 30
SOCAR Turkey intends to boost its activities - CEO
SOCAR Turkey's head talks Petkim goals
Oil rises 1% ahead of OPEC meeting under Omicron cloud
Baku Stock Exchange to hold auction for short-term notes of Central Bank
Azerbaijan provides water supply to liberated Lachin district (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan’s export of non-oil products increases
Azerbaijan increases gas export since early 2021
Russian Gazprombank forecasts Azerbaijan's economic growth to recover
Price indexes of financial, trade sectors at Uzbek stock exchange rise
Turkey’s aviation fuel export to Georgia increases
Helicopter crash in Azerbaijan broke our hearts - Selcuk Bayraktar
Bahar Azadi gold coin price again falling in Iran
Government of Uzbekistan approves feasibility study for construction of elevated subway
Russia again surpasses Azerbaijan as top importer of Georgia's potatoes
Kazakhstan adds over 700 new COVID-19 cases in 24h
Russia, Azerbaijan progressively developing co-op in agriculture – Russian ministry
President Erdogan calls for foreign long-term investments in Turkey
Year passes since liberation of Azerbaijani Lachin district from Armenian occupation
Air travelers to U.S. set to face tougher COVID-19 testing
British armed forces to allow people with HIV to enlist
Brazil reports first cases of Omicron variant
U.S. FDA experts narrowly recommend Merck's COVID-19 new drug molnupiravir
WHO warns against blanket travel bans over Omicron coronavirus variant
Turkey confirms 25,216 daily COVID-19 cases
9 injured in refinery fire in north Algeria
UK to offer booster vaccines to all adults by end of January
At least three students dead in Michigan school shooting, suspect in custody
Canada to ban travelers from Nigeria, Malawi, Egypt over Omicron concerns
Uzbekistan reveals leading regions in amount of loans issued in 9M2021
Head of EU delegation expresses condolences to Azerbaijan over military helicopter crash
Italian Embassy expresses condolences to Azerbaijan over military helicopter crash
Georgian economy grows 6.9% in October 2021
Turkish President to pay visit to Qatar in December
Capacity of crashed military helicopter of Azerbaijan's State Security Service was 24 people
Manual counting of 29% of protocols show that 7 parties may enter Kyrgyz Parliament
AZAL plane makes emergency landing in Baku
Pakistan seeking to increase trade routes on border with Iran
UN Resident Coordinator expresses condolences over military helicopter crash in Azerbaijan
Any outside influence as cause of helicopter crash out of question - head of Azerbaijani State Border Service
Coordination Headquarters holds another meeting in Azerbaijan (PHOTO)
All news