Commonwealth condemns 'excessive' force by Zimbabwe soldiers

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Zimbabwe's ruling ZANU-PF party won the most seats in parliament, official results showed Wednesday, as the count continued in the presidential race and the opposition MDC cried foul, alleging widespread fraud.

Mr Mnangagwa swept up votes in rural constituencies by huge margins. Mr Chamisa of the MDC is a 40-year-old lawyer with little experience in governance, having served only a short stint as minister some years ago.

European Union observers on Wednesday listed several problems in Zimbabwe's presidential and parliamentary election, including media bias, voter intimidation and mistrust in the electoral commission.

It suggested there was a deliberate effort to delay announcing the results, reflecting deep suspicion about the panel presiding over the election.

"We are exhausted of them stealing our votes".

"We won the popular vote and will defend it!" he tweeted.

She said "the presidential results should be announced as quickly as possible to bring confidence in the elections back to the people".

"Deployment of troops reveals the uncomfortable truth that, eight months after Mugabe was ousted, the army remains the pre-eminent political force", said Piers Pigou, a Zimbabwe expert at the International Crisis Group think-tank.

Armored vehicles have appeared on the streets in Harare.

There is a heavy police presence around the headquarters of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change party a day after the military swept into the city to disperse its supporters from protesting.

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Automatic gunfire has also been heard and an army helicopter has been spotted in the skies. "Teargas also fired into the protesting crowds".

But just hours later, President Mnangagwa said he was "positive" of the election outcome in Zanu PF's favour. "We need security for the people". "Now is the time for responsibility and above all, peace".

The global community's view on the election is crucial to Harare's efforts to patch up relations after years of hostility under Mugabe and secure the billions of dollars of donor funding and investment needed to rebuild its economy.

In Harare on Thursday morning, shops were shuttered and soldiers loitered on streets strewn with rocks and embers from fires set by the demonstrators.

The commission has said it would announce the results of the presidential race, pitting President Emmerson Mnangagwa against opposition leader Nelson Chamisa, only after all the votes have come in from across the country.

Mnangagwa said the violence was meant to disrupt the election and blamed the MDC leadership.

Another member of the opposition, Eveson Matambanadzo, said: "The results we have are cooked if you compare the people who voted on the ground to the results that are there it doesn't tally". We've more votes than ED (Emmerson Dambudzo). You voted for total Change in this past election! "We had to consult among ourselves whether it would be safe", said one worker who declined to give his name.

On his official Twitter feed, Chamisa accused the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission of releasing the parliamentary results first to prepare Zimbabweans for a Mnangagwa victory.

After the announcement, it will be critical to see if the Opposition parties will accept the results.

Zimbabwe's main opposition leader, Nelson Chamisa, casts his vote at a polling station in Harare on Monday.

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