Zimbabwe opposition on deadline to appeal election result

Zimbabwe opposition on deadline to appeal election result

Zimbabwe's main opposition leader, Nelson Chamisa, has filed a legal challenge against President Emmerson Mnangagwa's recent election victory.

The MDC Alliance has a tall order as it has to demonstrate to the court that, indeed, there were instances in which the law was not complied with and show how such irregularities influenced the final results of the elections.

Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi told Reuters Sunday's inauguration "will no longer happen" until the case is finalised.

Despite the contentious election result, the state-owned Herald newspaper has reported that President-elect Emmerson Mnangwagwa will be inaugurated on Sunday, 12 August.

The 40-year-old opposition chief is strongly disputing the results announced by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission and has vowed to go the "legal and constitutional" route to force the reversal of the outcome.

"Mr Biti is in good condition and we will follow the case closely".

The inauguration was postponed as soon as the challenge was filed less than an hour before the court closed for the weekend.

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There will still be a core European Union team to monitor the election petitions in the urgent, and no doubt fiercely fought, court days ahead.

Also on Friday, lawyers for senior opposition figure Tendai Biti asked judges to throw out charges against him over the protests against alleged election fraud, in a case raising further worldwide concern about the new government.

This was the first time in 15 years European Union observers had been allowed into Zimbabwe to observe an election which was peaceful on polling day but marred by violence afterwards.

"In the alternative, we seek that there be another election which complies with the dictates of the law", Mpofu said.

The ruling party was quick to dismiss the bid.

Analysts say that the legal challenge has little chance of success given the courts' historic tilt towards ZANU-PF, which has ruled since independence from British colonial rule in 1980.

He won the presidential race with 50.8% of the vote - just enough to avoid a run-off against the MDC's Nelson Chamisa, who scored 44.3%.

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