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Zimbabwe votes in opposition party

President Robert Mugabe's election woes continued yesterday, withofficial results showing his party had lost its majority in parliamentjust hours after the opposition claimed it also had won the presidency.


President Robert Mugabe's election woes continued yesterday, with official results showing his party had lost its majority in parliament just hours after the opposition claimed it also had won the presidency.
The official results gave the opposition Movement for Democratic Change 105 seats to 93 for Mugabe's ZANU-PF in the 210-seat House of Assembly. One seat went to an independent. That meant that even if the ZANU-PF won all the remaining seats, it would still not have the 206 seats needed for a majority.
At a news conference earlier yesterday, the opposition said that its leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, had won 50.3 per cent of the vote compared with 43.8 per cent for Mugabe.
“We maintain that we have won the presidential election outright without the need for a run-off,” said Tendai Biti, general secretary of the Movement for Democratic Change.
However, the figures he gave did not back up his contention. Biti said 2,382,243 votes were cast, and that Tsvangirai received 1,171,079 — about 49 per cent — while Mugabe got 1,043,349 — just under 44 per cent.
The ruling ZANU-PF party rejected the opposition's claims of victory in the presidential vote, saying that it would await the full results from the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.
A presidential candidate needs at least 50 per cent plus one vote to avoid a run-off. A run-off would have to be held within 21 days of the first round.


 
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