Monday, 30 July 2018

VOTING ENDS, COUNTING BEGINS

Zimbabwean electoral officials began counting ballots in the first vote of the post-Robert Mugabe era that opinion polls show is too close to call.

With results expected to start trickling from Monday night, the focus now shifts to whether the vote was credible -- a key pillar needed to rebuild the southern African nation’s international reputation and economy that was laid to waste under Mugabe’s 37-year rule. After a mostly peaceful contest, the success of the election will be determined by whether rival parties accept the result, with the main opposition already having complained the odds are stacked against it.
While voting officially ended at 7 p.m. after a day market by long, snaking queues in the capital, Harare, and other centers, some polling stations remained open to allow all those who’d lined up to cast their ballots. Under Zimbabwean law, results must be announced by Aug. 4. More than 5.6 million people registered to vote for the president, 350 lawmakers and local government representatives.
Zimbabwean electoral officials began counting ballots in the first vote of the post-Robert Mugabe era that opinion polls show is too close to call.
With results expected to start trickling from Monday night, the focus now shifts to whether the vote was credible -- a key pillar needed to rebuild the southern African nation’s international reputation and economy that was laid to waste under Mugabe’s 37-year rule. After a mostly peaceful contest, the success of the election will be determined by whether rival parties accept the result, with the main opposition already having complained the odds are stacked against it.
While voting officially ended at 7 p.m. after a day market by long, snaking queues in the capital, Harare, and other centers, some polling stations remained open to allow all those who’d lined up to cast their ballots. Under Zimbabwean law, results must be announced by Aug. 4. More than 5.6 million people registered to vote for the president, 350 lawmakers and local government representatives.
“The people wanted to vote, they were in a very good mood to vote in most cases,” Elmar Brok, chief observer for the European Union’s observer mission, told reporters in Harare. While voting proceeded smoothly in some areas, in others it was “totally disorganized,” and it was unclear whether this was a coincidence or bad organization, he said.bloomberg

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