(Last Updated on August 4, 2013 by Editor)
Prime Minister of Zimbabwe Morgan Tsvangirai has vowed to boycott the government formed by the “sham” election. Picture: AFP
However, his longtime foe Morgan Tsvangirai is vowing to boycott the government formed by the “fraudulent” vote.
The veteran leader scored another five years in office, extending his 33-year rule with a landslide 61 per cent of the vote, against Mr Tsvangirai’s 34 per cent.
In parliament, his ZANU-PF party scored a super majority which allows it to make changes to the country’s constitution.
The result comes as a massive blow to longtime opponent Mr Tsvangirai, who says his Movement for Democratic Change “totally” rejects Wednesday’s vote and will boycott the incoming government.
The election ends an uneasy power-sharing government with Mugabe installed in 2009 after another disputed vote.
Prime Minister Tsvangirai swiftly ruled out joining Mugabe’s government again.
Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe casts his vote at a polling booth in a school in Harare on July 31. Picture: AFP
“We will not join government,” he said overnight.
“We will go to court,” he insisted, after his party held emergency talks to plot its next move.
“The fraudulent and stolen election has plunged Zimbabwe into a constitutional, political and economic crisis.”
ZANU-PF had already claimed victory on Friday.
Party spokesman Rugare Gumbo told AFP: “Our opponents don’t know what hit them.”
The MDC has stopped short of calling for mass protests, as growing tensions spark fears of a repeat of the bloody violence that marked the aftermath of the 2008 election.
Amid observer concerns over the electoral roll and high numbers of voters being turned away, the poll’s credibility was hit by the resignation of one of the nine official electoral commissioners.
In a letter sent to Mugabe and Mr Tsvangirai, dated the day of the polls, one, Mkhululi Nyathi said he had quit over “the manner” in which the polls “were proclaimed and conducted”.
“While throughout the whole process I retained some measure of hope that the integrity of the whole process could be salvaged along the way, this was not to be, hence my considered decision to resign,” he said.
The MDC now has until Wednesday to present evidence of fraud to the high court but finding a smoking gun may prove difficult.
UN chief Ban Ki-moon has urged both political rivals to send “clear messages of calm” to their supporters.
With 600 observers on the ground, the verdict and next steps will be closely watched by Western nations barred from monitoring the poll themselves.
However, foreign diplomats have privately described the polls as fundamentally flawed, and the independent Zimbabwe Election Support Network has reported that up to one million voters were prevented from voting in Tsvangirai strongholds.