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ZIMBABWE

Mnangagwa wins Zimbabwe election, opposition rejects result

Emmerson Mnangagwa was declared the winner of this month's presidential election by a narrow margin
Emmerson Mnangagwa was declared the winner of this month's presidential election by a narrow margin REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo

Emmerson Mnangagwa has been declared the winnner of  this week's presidential election in Zmmbabwe. Opposition leader Nelson Chamisa on Friday dismissed what he called  "unverified fake results".

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In the first vote since the fall of longtime leader Robert Mugabe, Mnangagwa, from the ruling Zanu-PF, received 50.8 percent of the vote while Chamisa, of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), received 44.3 percent, according to results released by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC).

Turnout was high at over 80 percent in most of the country's 10 provinces.

Mnangagwa's narrow victory means he will not have to face a run-off vote.

On social media he said was "humbled" to have won the election, hailing it as a "new beginning" for the country.

"Though we may have been divided at the polls, we are united in our dreams. This is a new beginning," he said.

Zanu-PF easily won the parliamentary election, also held on Monday.

But Chamisa's MDC said it rejects the official results and has vowed to challenge the outcome in court.

 "The ZEC scandal of releasing unverified fake results is regrettable," Chamisa wrote on Twitter, referring to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.

He charged that the ZEC had denied the MDC access to the results before the announcement.

"ZEC must release proper & verified results endorsed by parties," Chamisa tweeted. "The level of opaqueness, truth deficiency, moral decay & values deficit is baffling."

Mnangagwa had promised a free and fair vote after the military put him in power when Mugabe was forced to resign in November.

While election day itself was peaceful, protests rocked the capital Harare on Wednesday over the delay in announcing the poll results and six people were killed in an army crackdown against protesters.

Election observers from the Commonwealth issued a statement after Wednesday's clashes to "denounce the excessive use of force against unarmed civilians".

Before the violence European Union observers declared they found an "unlevel playing field and lack of trust" in the election process.

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