Monday, February 26, 2024

Zimbabwe’s Elections Extends into Day 2

Voting in Zimbabwe’s general election continued into the early hours of Thursday after multiple delays in delivering ballot papers to many polling units. President Emmerson Mnangagwa issued a proclamation on Wednesday evening to permit voting to continue into a second day. Mnangagwa, who is seeking a second term in office, is facing 11 other candidates, including his main rival, Nelson Chamisa of the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC).

Ballot counting began at some polling units after voting closed on Wednesday, but in some suburbs of Harare, such as Glen Norah and Kuwadzana, voting had yet to begin as of 7 pm (17:00 GMT), which was when the polls were meant to have officially closed. In several towns and rural areas in the eastern province of Manicaland, voting will also occur on Thursday. Many stations in the two biggest cities, Harare and Bulawayo, permitted voting into the early hours of Thursday even as some people left the polling units out of frustration at being unable to vote

The election has been described as “shambolic,” with the electoral body accused of conspiring with the ruling party to “disenfranchise” opposition voters. Activists have also been arrested, raising concerns about the credibility of the election. The first constituency results emerged on Thursday after delays forced a second day of voting in a small number of wards

Zimbabweans are hoping for a peaceful and fair election, following the 2017 coup that led to the exit of longtime ruler Robert Mugabe. The election is seen as a crucial test for the country’s democracy and economic future

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