Zimbabwe election praised by African Union, sidesteps rigging claims
August 3, 2013 -- Updated 1348 GMT (2148 HKT)
- The African Union gives its blessing despite noting shortcomings
- Problems included voters getting turned away and biased media, they say
- Opposition leader calls the vote "null and void" after Mugabe's party declares win
Did you vote? Share your experiences.
(CNN) -- [Breaking news alert, 9:47 a.m. ET Saturday]
President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF party has claimed a two-thirds majority in parliament after Wednesday's election, according to results released Saturday by Zimbabwe's electoral commission. Presidential results are to be announced late Saturday.
The African Union on Friday applauded Zimbabwe for holding peaceful elections, and made no mention of rigging accusations by the main opposition candidate.
However, its observers did note several shortcomings.
Problems included voters getting turned away, late publication of polling stations and media taking sides, the African Union observers said in a statement released Friday.
Even so, the continent-wide body said, "The Mission observes generally, that from a historical perspective and in comparison to the 2008 elections, Zimbabwe has made an important transition in the conduct of its elections."
Zimbabweans line up near a polling station in Harare to vote in a general election on July 31, 2013 as President Robert Mugabe seeks to extend power to a potential 38 years.
Photos: Zimbabwe votes
Zimbabweans head to the polls
Bitter rivals on ballot in Zimbabwe
Wednesday's vote pitted President Robert Mugabe against his prime minister, Morgan Tsvangirai, for a five-year term as president.
Mugabe's party declared victory a day later even though the electoral commission has not released official results. The opposition dismissed the vote as a "huge farce."
On the other hand, Tsvangirai has called the vote "null and void," alleging widespread fraud.
Mugabe, 89, has been at led Zimbabwe since 1980, the first seven years as prime minister. He is the only ruler the nation has known since it gained independence.
Who is Robert Mugabe?
The election marks an end to an uneasy coalition government between the two leaders. It was formed after violence marred the last balloting. At least 200 people were killed and thousands were injured in post-election violence in 2008.
The election commission has until Monday to announce the official results.
Q&A: Why Zimbabwe elections matter
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
December 24, 2014 -- Updated 0254 GMT (1054 HKT)
A decade on from devastating 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the Red Cross' Matthias Schmale says that the lessons learned have made us safer.
December 24, 2014 -- Updated 0024 GMT (0824 HKT)
As soon as word broke that "The Interview" will hit some theaters, celebrations erupted across social media -- including from the stars of the film.
December 23, 2014 -- Updated 1844 GMT (0244 HKT)
Did a rogue hacker -- or the U.S. government -- cut the cord for the regime's Internet?
December 24, 2014 -- Updated 0106 GMT (0906 HKT)
Monaco's newborn royals, Princess Gabriella and Crown Prince Jacques Honore Rainier, posed for their first official photos with their parents.
December 23, 2014 -- Updated 1706 GMT (0106 HKT)
What's next for the Internet? Acclaimed scientist Sir Tim Berners-Lee shares his insights.
December 23, 2014 -- Updated 0822 GMT (1622 HKT)
The United States and North Korea have long been locked in a bitter cycle of escalating and deescalating tensions. But the current cyber conflict may be especially hard to predict.
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 2100 GMT (0500 HKT)
A chilling video shows Boko Haram executing dozens of non-Muslims.
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 1134 GMT (1934 HKT)
New planes, new flight tests ... but will we get cheaper airfares?
December 21, 2014 -- Updated 1746 GMT (0146 HKT)
The killing of two cops could not have happened at a worse time for a city embroiled in a public battle over police-community relations, Errol Louis says.
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 0251 GMT (1051 HKT)
The gateway to Japan's capital, Tokyo Station, is celebrating its centennial this month -- and it has never looked better.
December 20, 2014 -- Updated 1621 GMT (0021 HKT)
Unicef has warned that more than 1.7 million children in conflict-torn areas of eastern Ukraine face an "extremely serious" situation.
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 1701 GMT (0101 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.