Rumours Abound After Zimbabwe Election Results Delay
Is opposition party leader Tsvangirai the new president in Zimbabwe? Is Mugabe giving up power? Are the elections rigged?
Four days after the national election in Zimbabwe, none of those questions have been answered, though controversy and rumours are swirling in the African nation.
Some news organisations are reporting that Mugabe is quietly preparing to step down, while others point to a possible runoff vote if neither leader gets more than 51 per cent of the vote.
Read previous NowPublic coverage here.
Projections from the incumbent ZANU-PF party showed Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), with 48.3 per cent of the vote, compared with Mugabe's 43 per cent, according to senior sources quoted by Reuters. The projections gave a third contender, Simba Makoni, eight per cent of the vote.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity.
If no candidate wins more than 51 per cent of the vote, the election will go into a second round.
Mugabe's rule looks increasingly tenuous after an independent estimate showed him coming in second behind Tsvangirai.
The estimate, produced by the Zimbabwe Election Support Network, shows Tsvangirai taking 49.2 per cent of the vote against 41.8 per cent for Mugabe and 8.2 per cent for a third candidate, former finance minister Simba Makoni, who ran as an independent.
If reliable, it could mean that Tsvangirai and Mugabe would enter a runoff vote, as provided for in the constitution if neither candidate takes more than 50 per cent of the vote.
It was not clear whether either party would entertain a runoff. Mugabe ruled it out directly after the election saying it would 'not be necessary.' He has also vowed to respect the wishes of Zimbabweans in the polls.
FOUR days after the presidential and parliamentary elections in Zimbabwe, its people still do not know who will lead their country.
By its own account, Robert Mugabe's Zanu PF is just two seats ahead of the opposition MDC in the parliamentary elections. And in the contest for the Presidency, even despite the possibility of large scale voting fraud, it seems that Robert Mugabe has not secured victory.
Rigging fears were increasing in Zimbabwe on Tuesday three days after the electoral commission failed to release results from the presidential vote, in which the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) claims to have ousted authoritarian President Robert Mugabe.
Only partial results from the parliamentary elections that were held concomitantly with presidential and local elections on Saturday had been released, showing the opposition enjoying a slight lead over Mugabe's Zanu-PF party.