Tense wait for Zimbabwe presidential vote result continues
(dpa) - More than two days after the close of polls in Zimbabwe's elections, the election commission had yet to issue results of the presidential vote, in which the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) claims to have ousted authoritarian President Robert Mugabe.
Only partial results from parliamentary elections have been released, which give Mugabe's ruling Zanu-PF party a slight lead over Tsvangirai's MDC faction (the larger of two within the divided party).
With 110 out of 210 seats in the House of Assembly (lower house of parliament) counted, Zanu-PF had 53 seats against 51 for Tsvangirai's MDC faction and six for a smaller, breakaway MDC faction led by Arthur Mutambara, the ZEC said.
The slow pace of the announcement of official results, which the ZEC has attributed to logistical difficulties, has stoked suspicion among the opposition that the state-controlled election apparatus is trying to buy time while it "fixes" the result.
The MDC staked its victory claim early, saying that unofficial results posted at polling stations nationwide gave Tsvangirai and the party an outright victory.
A parallel count by an independent Zimbabwean election non- governmental organization based on a random sample of results from across the country also put longtime opposition leader Tsvangirai in the lead with 49.2 per cent of the vote against nearly 42 per cent for Mugabe and 8.2 per cent for a third candidate, former finance minister Simba Makoni, who ran as an independent.