Zimbabwe officials wait to release vote results

Zimbabwe officials wait to release vote results

Zimbabwe officials wait to release vote results

Counting had continued through the night after a strong turnout in Zimbabwe's first election without Mugabe, who was ousted by the military last year after 37 years in office.

The first Zimbabwean election not to include former President Robert Mugabe is too close to call, officials said Tuesday.

While the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has five days from the end of voting to release the final tally, the national mood is growing anxious partly because unofficial results are already swirling on social media.

Africanews journalist Nyasha Mutizwa is from Zimbabwe and she's has been following up on the polls with our men on the ground. The victor needs more than 50 percent of the vote to win outright and avoid a run-off in September.

"I am delighted by the high turnout and citizen engagement so far", Mnangagwa tweeted.

"Vote counting is underway and we should be able to release the first results around 3pm".

If required, Zimbabwe's 5.6-million registered voters would be asked to return to the polls to vote in a presidential run-off on September 8.

Under Mugabe, elections were often marred by violence, harassment and irregularities.

"Winning resoundingly. We've done exceedingly well", he said on Twitter after the landmark vote on Monday, adding "We are ready to form the next (government)".

The opposition says results it has collected from around the country show "beyond a reasonable doubt" that Nelson Chamisa has won the presidential election.

In Harare, 32-year-old finance graduate Tinashe Dongo said he wanted "change" following Monday's vote.

NewsDay reported on Tuesday that ZEC provincial elections officer, Maxwell Ncube, stating that out of 113 784 voters who cast their ballots by 11.30am, 1 725 were turned away as they did not appear on the voters' roll. "He is young and can understand our plight as youth", said Ndumiso Nyoni, 20, a worker at a lodge in Lupane, southern Zimbabwe.

The contenders in Zimbabwe's vote must accept the results and "should look at the larger picture of success, a successful election for Zimbabwe", he said. "We have done an impossible thing".

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