Zimbabwe election: Landslide victory for Robert Mugabe as president gets two-thirds majority

Opposition party says it does not rule out 'demonstrations and mass action' after process which it calls 'null and void'

President Robert Mugabe’s party has won a landslide victory in the Zimbabwe general election, taking 142 of the 210 parliament seats available.

The results come after opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai declared the process “null and void”, while the two main observer groups said voting had been “very free” and “very peaceful”.

Most monitors nonetheless accept that there are “serious” concerns around how the electoral registers were drawn up, and a spokesman for the defeated opposition MDC party said “Demonstrations and mass action are options.”

Earlier on Thursday a senior aide to Mugabe told Reuters the party of the 89-year-old incumbent was already confident he would extend his 33 year rule.

“We've taken this election. We've buried the MDC. We never had any doubt that we were going to win,” he told the news agency.

ZANU-PF’s announcement was followed by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai effectively conceding defeat, while at the same time discounting the process.

Mr Tsvangirai, who leads the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), called the election a “monumental fraud”.

“It is our view that this election is null and void and does not meet international standards for a credible, legitimate, free and fair election. Once again Zimbabweans have been short-changed.

“We want to assure every Zimbabwean that this is the beginning of the end. Zanu-PF may have this victory as they would like to claim, but I would like to assure you that the resolution of the Zimbabwe crisis has never been so near.”

Having slammed the “shoddy manner” with which polls were conducted, MDC released a statement saying it received "radical" calls to take violent action from its supporters, reflecting "the frustration, hopelessness and anger in every one of us".

“We understand the tears in everyone's eyes but we certainly do not believe in violence to resolve this,” it said.

Rugare Gumbo, a spokesman for Mr Mugabe's ZANU-PF party, categorically denied all accusations of vote-rigging.

“We dismiss these allegations with the contempt they deserve because there was absolutely no way of manipulating the system. There was no way of rigging the election,” he said.

While the two main parties continued to disagree over the legitimacy of the elections, the main observing groups appeared to reach a consensus that they were indeed “fair”.

Mr Mugabe’s government banned Western missions from monitoring the process, leaving a great deal of responsibility for an international verdict in the hands of the African Union (AU) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

The leader of AU’s 70-member observer mission Olusegun Obasanjo said: “Yes, the election is free.”

He described the vote as credible unless any evidence to the contrary emerges, though observers admitted they had seen “incidences that could have been avoided and even tended to have breached the law”, and the group has asked election authorities to investigate.

South African agency Eyewitness News reported that the SADC said yesterday a group of their observers had seen “incorrect papers” put in ballot boxes.

In spite of this, they released a verdict today that said the election had been both “very free” and “very peaceful”.

Solomon Zwana, head of domestic organisation the Zimbabwe Election Support Network, was the only major independent group to deliver a damning verdict.

It found a “wide range of problems” in the election and that it had witnessed a campaign to stop voters from casting ballots.

The monitoring group said that the names of as many as 1 million out of more than 6 million eligible voters had not been added to polling booth registers.

The atmosphere in Harare was subdued following the announcement of the two-thirds victory for Mr Mugabe’s party, in stark contrast to the deadly violence that erupted after a disputed presidential poll in 2008.

And a spokesman for the EU said its foreign policy chief, Baroness Catherine Ashton, had “commended the people of Zimbabwe for turning out in large numbers to cast their votes, in what were broadly peaceful elections.”

He said: “She calls upon on all parties to maintain calm and order as the results of the poll become known.”

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
News
The Magna Carta
archaeologyContemporary account of historic signing discovered
News
Robbie Rogers: US former Leeds United footballer, 25, announced he was gay in February 2013, shortly after he left Elland Road. Rogers 'retired' after writing on his blog: 'I'm a soccer player, I'm Christian, and I'm gay.' Has since signed with Los Angeles Galaxy.
people
Arts and Entertainment
Johnny Depp no longer cares if people criticise his movie flops
films
Arts and Entertainment
All in a day's work: the players in the forthcoming 'Posh People: Inside Tatler'
TVGrace Dent thinks we should learn to 'hug a Hooray Henry', because poshness is an accident of birth
Arts and Entertainment
Convicted art fraudster John Myatt
art

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Opilio Recruitment: UX & Design Specialist

£40k - 45k per year + Benefits: Opilio Recruitment: A fantastic opportunity ...

Opilio Recruitment: Publishing Application Support Analyst

£30k - 35k per year + Benefits: Opilio Recruitment: We’re currently re...

Opilio Recruitment: Digital Marketing Manager

£35k - 45k per year + benefits: Opilio Recruitment: A fantastic opportunity ...

Opilio Recruitment: Sales Manager

£60k - 80k per year + Benefits: Opilio Recruitment: A fantastic opportunity ...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game