Mugabe Claims Win In “Sham” Poll

Official results of disputed elections in which Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe’s party romped to victory is set to be released, as the opposition holds emergency talks over the “sham” polls.

Full results were expected later on Saturday but Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party said it had already won the 140 seats in parliament required to press ahead with controversial amendments to the constitution.

“We have already gone beyond two-thirds. It’s a super majority,” a top party official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

With 186 of 210 constituencies officially counted after Wednesday’s disputed poll, Mugabe’s party already had a commanding lead, winning 137 seats in parliament.

Party spokesman Rugare Gumbo said: “Our opponents don’t know what hit them”, adding that 89-year-old Mugabe could win “70 to 75 per cent” in the presidential vote.

The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) of opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who described the vote as a “sham”, went into emergency talks on Saturday to decide their next action.

The MDC has vowed not to accept the election results, sparking fears of a repeat of bloody violence that marked the aftermath of the 2008 election.

“Emotions are high, tensions are high across the country,” MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa said.

While on the country’s streets things have remained calm, UN chief Ban Ki-moon urged both political rivals to send “clear messages of calm” to their supporters.

Ban hopes that the broadly “calm and peaceful atmosphere” of election day “will prevail during the vote counting and throughout the completion of the electoral process,” said his spokesman Martin Nesirky.