Zimbabwe’s elections commission said Saturday that President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who is 80, won approximately 53% of the votes, while Nelson Chamisa, 45, the leader of the opposition Citizens’ Coalition for Change, garnered 44% of the ballots.
U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres “is concerned about the arrest of observers, reports of voter intimidation, threats of violence, harassment and coercion,” according to his spokesperson Florencia Soto Niño.
While Chimisa said the election was a “blatant and gigantic fraud,” Mnangagwa said the election was conducted “transparently, fairly in broad daylight.”
Mnangagwa’s win was another victory for the ZANU-PF party that has ruled the country since 1980 after obtaining independence from white rule.
International observers say the last week’s election in the southern African country was held in an atmosphere of fear and intimidation.
Voters went to the polls on Wednesday and in some locations voting booths were also opened on Thursday due to challenges with ballot distribution.
Saturday’s announcement of the results of the election came days earlier than expected.
“We all have a lot of questions about the speed” of the results announcement, Nicole Beardsworth, a politics lecturer at the University of the Witwatersrand, told Reuters.
Some information for this report came from Reuters and the Associated Press.