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Zimbabwe elections: EU observers criticise Zimbabwe elections for 'un-level playing field'

The EU mission found an "improved political climate, but (an) un-level playing field and lack of trust in the process," it said in a statement.

Published: 01st August 2018 06:12 PM  |   Last Updated: 01st August 2018 06:34 PM   |  A+A-

Police patrol outside the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission offices as opposition supporters gather, in Harare, Zimbabwe. (Photo | AP)

By AFP

HARARE: EU observers on Wednesday criticised the Zimbabwe elections for being held on an "un-level playing field" as the opposition MDC protested against alleged widespread fraud by the election authority and ruling party.

The EU mission found an "improved political climate, but (an) un-level playing field and lack of trust in the process," it said in a statement.

ALSO READ | ZANU-PF wins most seats in Zimbabwe parliament: Poll body

"Observers reported... efforts to undermine the free expression of the will of the electors through inducements, soft intimidation, pressure and coercion against prospective voters to try to ensure a vote in favour of the ruling party," added EU chief observer Elmar Brok at a press conference.

"While political rights were largely respected, there was concerns regarding the environment for the polls (and) the misuse of state resources."

A portrait of Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagawa is displayed at the party headquarters as police walk past the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission offices in Harare, Zimbabwe. (Photo | AP)

Zimbabwe's ruling ZANU-PF party won the most seats in parliament, official results showed Wednesday, with partial results due to later Wednesday in the key presidential race.

The parliamentary results strengthened the chances of President Emmerson Mnangagwa holding power, but triggered MDC demonstrations in Harare and fears of clashes between angry opposition supporters and the government.

Several hundred MDC (Movement for Democratic Change) supporters gathered outside the party headquarters in Harare, chanting and shouting that they had won the elections.

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