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Zimbabwe swears in new legislature

September 3, 2013

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — Zimbabwe’s largest ever parliament was sworn into a new five-year term to be dominated by President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party after disputed elections in July.

The new 270-seat parliament starts sitting Sept. 10.

Under a new constitution adopted in March, the legislature was expanded from 210 seats by adding 60 women members elected under a gender-sensitive proportional representation provision.

Mugabe’s party holds 196 seats, the main opposition, the Movement for Democratic Change, 70 and two went to independent candidates and two to a small opposition group.

Mugabe’s party elected unopposed its choice for Speaker, a former provincial governor. The opposition, claiming widespread rigging in the July 31 polls, boycotted the Speaker vote.

Three lawmakers were not at the ceremony and will take their oaths later.