Counting begins in Zimbabwe's first post-Mugabe election

ZIMBABWE-ELECTION-Robert Mugabe

We will be giving you the results as Zec officially makes the announcements.

Dozens of Zimbabwean opposition supporters have gathered at their headquarters in the capital, celebrating in the belief that they have won the presidential election despite the lack of official results.

Zimbabwe's historic elections looked in danger of slipping into familiar scenes of violence and chaos today after the main opposition party accused the electoral board of withholding results and demanded that its leader be sworn in immediately.

Chamisa said Tuesday on Twitter that his party had collected results from more than "10,000 polling stations" and was ready to form a government.

Counting had continued through the night after a strong turnout in Zimbabwe's first election without Mugabe, who was ousted by the military in November after 37 years in office.

"It is our view that the high voter turnout is indicative of the sound voter education and publicity conducted on a receptive electorate", said Priscilla Chigumba.

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If no presidential candidate wins more than 50 per cent of the vote, a runoff will be held September 8.

Vote counting at a polling station in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, on Monday.

As well as electing a president, Zimbabweans were voting for 210 members of parliament and more than 9,000 councillors.

This comes after Zec acting chief elections officer, Utoile Silaigwana confirmed that the MDC Alliance presidential candidate had been reported to the police for holding an illegal press conference on Sunday at Meikles Hotel after the deadline for political campaigns.

Western election observers were in Zimbabwe, a sign of a freer political environment since the resignation of Mugabe, who declared he would not vote for the ruling party he long controlled and called Chamisa the only viable candidate. The peaceful election was a break from votes marred by violence. Mnangagwa, the former vice president, was sworn in as Mugabe's successor.

The contenders in Zimbabwe's vote must accept the results and "should look at the larger picture of success, a successful election for Zimbabwe", he said.

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