The Latest: Zimbabwe’s president welcomes court challenge
HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — The Latest on Zimbabwe’s election (all times local):
Zimbabwe’s president says people are free to approach the courts if they have issues with the results of Monday’s election, which he carried with just over 50 percent of the vote.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa spoke to journalists shortly after opposition leader Nelson Chamisa called the election results manipulated and said they would be challenged in court. Chamisa received 44 percent of the vote but says his supporters’ own count gave him 56 percent.
Mnangagwa is praising the vote as free and fair despite the opposition concerns and those of international election observers who noted the “extreme bias” of state media and the “excessive” use of force when the military cracked down on opposition protesters in the capital on Wednesday.
The president also is looking forward to his inauguration, saying that under the constitution it should happen nine days after election results are declared.
Zimbabwe’s president is praising “a free, fair and credible election, as we have always promised” and “unprecedented flowering of freedom and democracy in our beloved homeland” even as the opposition loudly rejects the results.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa spoke shortly after opposition leader Nelson Chamisa said Monday’s peaceful election had been manipulated and said the results would be challenged in court.
Mnangagwa, a former enforcer of longtime leader Robert Mugabe, has tried to recast himself as a voice of change. He is calling the deadly violence against opposition supporters in the capital on Wednesday “unfortunate” and says Chamisa has a crucial role to play in Zimbabwe’s future.
“Let us both call for peace and unity in our land,” the president says.
Zimbabwe opposition leader Nelson Chamisa is mocking what he calls the vote-rigging in the election narrowly won by President Emmerson Mnangagwa, the first vote without longtime leader Robert Mugabe on the ballot.
“Mr. Mugabe was at least sophisticated,” Chamisa tells journalists, to laughter. “This was pedestrian ... The numbers they presented didn’t even add up.”
Chamisa, who won over 44 percent of Monday’s vote, says the deadly violence since the peaceful election is a “repeat of what we saw in the yesteryear of the regime.”
He says the opposition will challenge the election results and claims that he won “significantly.” He says otherwise Zimbabwe’s government is not legitimate.
Zimbabwe opposition leader Nelson Chamisa is declaring “a day of mourning ... for democracy” and rejecting the results of the election in which President Emmerson Mnanagwa saw a narrow victory.
Chamisa spoke shortly after riot police briefly broke up journalists waiting for his statement. Mnangagwa quickly condemned the police action.
Chamisa, who received over 44 percent of the vote, is alleging violence and harassment against his supporters and manipulation of the election results.
He says the opposition has evidence of vote-rigging but that the electoral commission “didn’t want to listen to us.”
He declares that “we won this election” and urges Mnangagwa to acknowledge that.
Zimbabwe’s president says the scenes of riot police dispersing journalists waiting for an opposition briefing “have no place in our society.”
President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Twitter says authorities are “urgently investigating” the events as journalists awaited opposition leader Nelson Chamisa, who has rejected the results of Monday’s election.
Mnangagwa was declared the winner with just over 50 percent of the vote.
The president says that “we won the election freely and fairly, and have nothing to hide or fear.”
Zimbabwean riot police with batons and shields are now leaving after breaking up a press conference by opposition leader Nelson Chamisa, who has alleged rigging of the presidential election.
Police chased away reporters without explanation but ruling party officials are now urging reporters to attend the briefing. There is no sign of Chamisa.
Opposition supporters heckled the police as they left.
Zimbabwe’s authorities on Wednesday invoked a strict security act that allows them to ban public gatherings after the military broke up opposition protests in the capital. Six people were killed.
Zimbabwean police with batons and shields have broken up a press conference by opposition leader Nelson Chamisa, who has alleged rigging of the presidential election.
Police chased away reporters without explanation. There is no sign of Chamisa.
The electoral commission overnight announced that President Emmerson Mnangagwa, a former enforcer of longtime leader Robert Mugabe, had narrowly won Monday’s election.
The opposition has threatened to challenge what they call the “fake” election results in court.
An independent election observers group is urging the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to urgently release results from individual polling stations to allay concerns about possible irregularities in Monday’s vote.
The local Zimbabwe Election Support Network says the commission should post the information on its website “to enhance transparency and accountability.”
The commission overnight announced that President Emmerson Mnangagwa won a free and fair election, but the opposition alleges the vote was rigged.
Six people died when the military cracked down on opposition protests in the capital, Harare, on Wednesday.
China’s government says it wants to work with the international community to safeguard Zimbabwe’s “peace, stability and development” after President Emmerson Mnangagwa was declared the winner of this week’s election.
“As a friendly country to Zimbabwe, we call on the relevant sides to keep in mind the relevant country and people’s interest and respect the choice made by the Zimbabwean people,” Geng Shuang, spokesman for China’s foreign ministry, said in Beijing.
China is a major investor in Zimbabwe, which faced its first election without former leader Robert Mugabe on the ballot. The opposition alleges the vote was rigged and says it will take its complaints to the courts.
Zimbabwe’s capital is unusually quiet hours after President Emmerson Mnangagwa was declared the winner of the national election, which began with a peaceful vote Monday but turned deadly when the military rolled into the streets 48 hours later.
Harare’s deserted roads appear to be free from the troops that circulated Thursday. Water cannons and police remain present, however, at the headquarters of the main opposition party, a day after authorities raided it.
The opposition says it will challenge in court the results of the election, which Mnangagwa won with just over 50 percent of the vote.
Opposition leader Nelson Chamisa on Twitter says “unverified fake results” were announced.
Vendor Roy Mukwena says Mnangagwa “won by force. No, I’m not happy, just because these elections were not free and fair.”