Early parliamentary results in Zimbabwe on Friday showed the ruling party and the main opposition in a close race. President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s ZANU-PF party was expected to maintain its long-held power. The presidential results have not yet been announced, as some neighborhoods experienced delays in printing ballot papers. Mnangagwa, seeking re-election at a time of economic challenges, faces a strong challenge from lawyer and pastor Nelson Chamisa. The outcome of the election is crucial for Zimbabwe’s chances of resolving its debt crisis and obtaining loans from international lenders. While the government and electoral commission have promised a fair election, some analysts believe the results may be skewed in Mnangagwa’s favor. Security measures were in place around the election results center, and ZANU-PF expressed confidence in achieving a two-thirds majority in the National Assembly. However, the early parliamentary results showed a split between ZANU-PF and the main opposition party, with ZANU-PF winning 38 constituencies and the opposition winning 32. The rural-urban divide in voting patterns was evident, with ZANU-PF retaining its rural base and the opposition capturing the urban vote. In a significant loss for the ruling party, Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube was defeated by an opposition challenger. The results of the presidential election are expected within five days. ZANU-PF remains optimistic about Mnangagwa’s chances, dismissing Chamisa’s claims of leading in the polls. Mnangagwa took over from Robert Mugabe in 2017 and won a disputed election in 2018.
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