Skip to main content

Zimbabwe election praised by African Union, sidesteps rigging claims

By Faith Karimi and Nana Karikari-Apau, CNN
August 3, 2013 -- Updated 1348 GMT (2148 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • 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.

[Previously published]

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. 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.
Zimbabwe votes for president
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
>
>>
Photos: Zimbabwe votes 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

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
November 21, 2014 -- Updated 2319 GMT (0719 HKT)
China and likely other countries have the capacity to shut down the U.S. power grid, says the NSA.
November 21, 2014 -- Updated 0121 GMT (0921 HKT)
If it wasn't for a comic's skit, Bill Cosby would still be America's favorite father, says expert.
November 21, 2014 -- Updated 1550 GMT (2350 HKT)
Obama orders the most sweeping overhaul of U.S. immigration in decades, prioritizing the deportation of "felons, not families."
November 18, 2014 -- Updated 2106 GMT (0506 HKT)
Fighters loyal to ISIS are now in control of Derna, a city on Libya's Mediterranean coast.
November 19, 2014 -- Updated 1945 GMT (0345 HKT)
The founder of a U.S. nonprofit that works with returning soldiers is named CNN's Hero of the Year.
November 17, 2014 -- Updated 1324 GMT (2124 HKT)
It's a very big challenge but NASA chief scientist Ellen Stofan thinks it can be done.
November 17, 2014 -- Updated 0039 GMT (0839 HKT)
CNN's Atika Shubert explains how the most recent ISIS video differs from the other previous hostage execution videos.
November 17, 2014 -- Updated 1738 GMT (0138 HKT)
A Syrian cleric condemns ISIS and its execution of U.S. hostage Peter Kassig.
November 16, 2014 -- Updated 1720 GMT (0120 HKT)
Volunteer fighters in eastern Ukraine dig down just 800 meters from the front line.
November 18, 2014 -- Updated 1729 GMT (0129 HKT)
TV anchor wears the same suit for a year. Female colleague wears new outfit daily. Who gets criticized?
November 21, 2014 -- Updated 1204 GMT (2004 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.
ADVERTISEMENT