Court prolongs Zimbabwe’s eight-day wait for poll results

April 7th, 2008 - 3:15 am ICT by admin  

Johannesburg/Harare, April 7 (DPA) Eight days after Zimbabwe’s elections, there was still no sign of results of the crunch presidential vote Sunday, while President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party has already demanded a recount. The High Court in Harare added another day to the tense wait for the results by deferring judgement in an application by the opposition Movement for Democratic Change to force the electoral commission to release the results until Monday.

MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai has claimed outright victory in the election, saying he took 50.3 percent of the vote but an estimate produced by an election NGO showed neither he nor Mugabe winning outright, pointing to the need for a runoff.

Although the results are unknown, Mugabe’s party has already demanded a recount, claiming “glaring” counting errors in four constituencies.

Deputy information minister Bright Matonga said the errors showed up in differences between the official result forms posted outside polling stations now for a week and results collated at the constituency level.

The MDC has rubbished as “illegal” Zanu-PF’s complaint saying a recount must be done within 48 hours of the results being counted and accused Mugabe of trying to buy time to reclaim lost ground ahead of a runoff.

Zanu-PF has also announced it will challenge the MDC’s victory in the 210-seat House of Assembly (lower house of parliament), in which the MDC defeated Zanu-PF 109 seats to 97.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the “third man” in Zimbabwean politics, former finance minister Simba Makoni, said Makoni would soon announce the formation of a new party that would support Tsvangirai in a runoff - on certain conditions.

In the likely event of a runoff vote between Mugabe and Tsvangirai Makoni’s new party would support Tsvangirai, on condition the two men reached agreement on policy issues, the spokesman said.

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