The ACDP congratulated ZANU-PF on an overall election victory. Zimbabwe’s ruling ZANU-PF party won the majority of seats in parliament after sweeping rural constituencies by huge margins.
ACDP MP and member of the Parliamentary International Relations Committee Cheryllyn Dudley today said that:
“The violence following results is very disappointing. Opposition election participation and results were impressive considering the constraints they have faced.”
Whilst the result of the presidential election has yet to be declared, the MDC opposition alliance insists its candidate, Nelson Chamisa, beat the incumbent President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
“Violent protests do not help Zimbabwe and only frustrates the progress they are making. Democracy requires a large degree of patience and maturity. It was our hope that Zimbabweans would rise above personal agendas for the sake of peace and nation building”, Dudley said.
A government crackdown in Zimbabwe after Monday’s elections has prompted international calls for restraint.
“The ACDP calls on our neighbors to have cool heads and continue to be the example they have been - your patience and hard work in getting to this point has been inspirational - please don’t miss this opportunity to reap the benefits for all Zimbabweans.”
Amnesty International has called on the Zimbabwe government to investigate the army’s response to the violence, saying “militarization” of the election aftermath was “muzzling freedom of expression, association and assembly”. “People must be guaranteed their right to protest”, he said.
“The ACDP joins those who are urging government to respond to protests with caution and resist the temptation of overreacting and inadvertently continuing a pattern of taking away people’s freedom to express themselves honestly.”
After the vote, the country’s electoral commission said that Zanu-PF had won a two-thirds majority in parliament, prompting protests in the capital, Harare. Home Affairs Minister Obert Mpofu said the government would not tolerate the protests. “This was most unfortunate”, Dudley said.
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has so far announced victory in 140 seats for Zanu-PF, with 58 for the MDC Alliance, ZBC state media reported. There are 210 seats in the National Assembly's lower house. More than five million people were registered to vote, and there was a turnout of 70%.
A presidential candidate needs more than 50% of the vote to win outright. Otherwise, a run-off election will be held on 8 September.
Election observers say they observed several problems, including media bias, voter intimidation and mistrust in the electoral commission, adding that there was an “improved political climate, but un-level playing field and lack of trust”.
This is the first time in 16 years that the government has allowed EU and US election monitors into the country.
The African Union mission has said that the elections “took place in a very peaceful environment” and “were highly competitive”. A preliminary report by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) observers said the elections were largely peaceful and conducted in accordance with the law.
ISSUED BY: CHERYLLYN DUDLEY MP
2 August 2018