Tuesday, April 01, 2008

ANXIOUS WAIT FOR ZIMBABWE RESULTS !

The opposition has claimed victory, but results are unclear.
Zimbabweans are anxiously awaiting more results from Saturday's election, which have been slow to emerge.
An independent monitoring group says opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai got 49% of the vote - just short of the 50% needed to avoid a run-off.
Official presidential results have not been published, but Mr Tsvangirai's party says he won and the delay is to allow the outcome to be rigged.
The ruling Zanu-PF and the opposition are level in the parliamentary vote.
Zanu-PF has 53 parliamentary seats, while the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has 56 in total, with 101 seats still not declared, according to official results.
Five of the opposition seats have gone to a breakaway faction of the MDC.
Correspondents say the streets of the capital, Harare, have been quiet, but security in parts of the city is tight.
The air is thick with expectation and with rumour. The parts of the country we have seen are very calm and, in some cases, unusually quiet
BBC's Ian Pannell
BBC hears hopes of change

The MDC claims Mr Tsvangirai has won 60% of the presidential vote, against 30% for Robert Mugabe.
The international community has urged Zimbabwe to give the results soon.
Foreign ministers from seven European Union countries "called on the Zimbabwean Electoral Commission to swiftly announce all official election results, especially the results of the presidential election".
Washington said the vote should be counted honestly and reflect the will of the people. UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown said the eyes of the world were on Zimbabwe.
John Sawers, British ambassador to the United Nations, said that if the elections did herald a change of leadership, "there would be a huge groundswell of support for a new government prepared to address the fundamental problems that exist in Zimbabwe".

Nana Ampofo, an analyst for Global Insight, which specialises in political and economic forecasting, says the delay is cause for concern.

ELECTION RESULTS SO FAR
Parliamentary constituencies
MDC-Tsvangirai: 51
Zanu-PF: 53
Breakaway MDC faction: 5
Yet to declare: 101
Presidential results
None so far
Winner needs more than 50% to avoid run-off
Source: ZECResults according to MDC:
Morgan Tsvangirai, MDC: 60%
Robert Mugabe, Zanu-PF: 30%
MDC 99 parliamentary seats
Zanu-PF 96
Other opposition 15

"The manner in which results for parliamentary constituencies are balanced 50-50 between the MDC and Zanu PF, it will raise eyebrows," he said.
"It's still not clear that the election results are fixed but there are definitely reasons to be concerned."
Rumours have circulated as people await results, and government has been forced to deny speculation that Mr Mugabe, who has been in power since 1980, had gone to Malaysia or was planning to impose a state of emergency.
Riot police have been patrolling the capital, Harare, and other urban areas and residents have been told to stay indoors.
A BBC correspondent, in Zimbabwe despite a ban on the BBC operating there, says initial optimism that change is coming is evaporating.
Our correspondent said there were some army units on the streets but there was no major deployment.
Deputy Information Minister Bright Matonga denied the polls would be rigged and said the president would accept defeat.
He said people should be patient in waiting for the results.
"The verification process is ongoing. They are announcing the results," he told the BBC. "I know everyone is very anxious, they are on edge. They don't know if they are going to make it or not."
Local results have been posted outside most polling stations since Sunday morning.
Presidential, House of Assembly, Senate and local elections were all held on Saturday, and election officials say that this is why results have been slow to come.
BBC NEWS REPORT.

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