Zimbabwe’s ruling ZANU-PF party has won the most seats in parliament, official results showed on Wednesday, as the count continued in the presidential race.
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission results showed President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s ZANU-PF cruising to a big majority after picking up 109 seats in a 210-seat parliament.
The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party managed to win only 41 seats with results for 58 seats still to be announced, the election body said on Wednesday.
ZANU-PF would need to win 30 more seats to have a two-thirds majority that would allow it to change the constitution at will.
Monday’s vote was Zimbabwe’s first election since long-term President Robert Mugabe was pushed out of office last year.
Reporting from the capital Harare, Al Jazeera’s Haru Mutasa said the rural vote was key in the elections.
“From what we have seen, ZANU-PF has won by a landslide, and we now wait and see if it will be the same for the presidential elections,” Mutasa said.
“Everyone knew it was the rural vote that was key, the majority of people are in rural areas and since 1980 they have voted for the ruling party,” she added.
According to Al Jazeera’s correspondent, it will be crucial to see if the opposition parties will accept the results.
“They allege there has been vote rigging, and are threatening to release their own set of results. Some have even threatened to protest,” she said.
“It could be a few more days because election officials say they need to wait for all the results to come in from across the country,” Mutasa said.
“The question is now if those results will be very different from what has happened with the parliamentary votes.”
Earlier in the day, opposition leader Nelson Chamisa tweeted that he had “won” .
The opposition leader said on Tuesday that he was “winning resoundingly” – a claim denied by the Electoral Commission.
A presidential runoff will be held on September 8 if a candidate does not secure more than 50 percent of the vote.
Relatively peaceful elections
More than five million Zimbabweans registered to take part in the poll. The Electoral Commission said 1.3 percent of registered voters could not cast their vote because they presented the wrong documents at polling stations.
Previous elections in Zimbabwe have been marred by intimidation and threats, but campaigning this time has been relatively peaceful.
Elections observers from the European Union and the United States have also been allowed to monitor the vote for the first time since 2002.
Twenty-three candidates, 19 men and four women, contested for the presidency – all first-time contenders