Zimbabwe election: Zanu-PF has most seats, incomplete results show

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Experts say both the ruling party and the opposition are responsible for the violence that erupted on the streets of Harare on Wednesday.

At least three people died in the chaos as the military was dispersed to the area.

Once again, they had lost the battle for control of parliament and there seemed little chance that Nelson Chamisa - their charismatic party leader - could claim the presidency.

As official count numbers revealed by the Zimbabwean Electoral Commission (ZEC) show a firm lead for Mnangagwa, the peaceful election turned violent as protesters accused Zanu-PF of rigging the count.

He said he did not understand why the election commission was taking so long to release results and that it would lose credibility with further delays.

It alleges that the governing Zanu-PF party has rigged Monday's elections.

Augusto added that the mission had found the conduct of the police - who have in previous elections been accused of intimidation - to have been very professional.

Global observers who had initially given high praise for Zimbabwe's peaceful elections, issued more cautiously worded preliminary post-election results, alluding to some inconsistencies that could legitimize the opposition and its supporters' concerns.

Commonwealth election observers earlier criticized Zimbabwe authorities for "excessive" force.

Soldiers beat a supporter of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change party of Nelson Chamisa outside the party's headquarters as they await the results of the general elections in Harare, Zimbabwe, August 1, 2018.

"While we appreciate that the electoral environment was relatively peaceful and a huge turnout at polling stations, we reiterate that electoral processes must always reflect and uphold the true will of the citizens", the coalition said on Wednesday.

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The House of Assembly of Parliament has 210 seats and ZANU-PF's two-thirds majority would allow it to change the constitution at will.

Protesters surrounded vehicles belonging to the observer missions as they passed through downtown Harare.

The opposition leader's spokesman Nkululeko Sibanda said the army's reaction in quelling disturbances in the capital was disproportionate and unjustified.

Questioning the independence of the judiciary, Chamisa said he was reluctant to go to court to challenge the results, saying this would be "going into the lion's den".

"We expect that these results will become a reflection of what we are expecting in the presidential elections".

The commission said it would release vote totals "sometime" on Thursday, even though it said most of the results "are here with us".

"Why are they killing us? They are there to assist the police".

Mnangagwa had promised a free and fair vote after the military ushered him to power when Mugabe was forced to resign.

"We've more votes that ED, we won the popular vote and we will defend it", he tweeted.

The United States and European Union have been clear that a credible election is their foremost condition for the lifting of sanctions on various Mugabe-era officials and their family members, as well as for backing a bailout for Zimbabwe from the International Monetary Fund.

What will happen in the presidential vote?

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