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Zimbabwe: Presidential results - Verification begins
Posted: Friday, May 2, 2008

Herald Reporter
May 02, 2008
The Herald

VERIFICATION of the presidential election results began in Harare yesterday with representatives of the candidates who contested the March 29 poll in attendance.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission presented to the representatives the results it came up with for comparison with figures compiled by the contesting parties on their own.

ZEC deputy chief elections officer (operations) Mr Utloile Silaigwana said after presenting the results, parties were given the chance to lodge objections.

"The verification process is basically to allow parties to compare our final figures with their own results before we announce them, according to an agreement reached by all parties before we called for the process to begin.

"We have presented our figures to the parties, but the process has since been adjourned to tomorrow (today) as the MDC-T and independent candidate Langton Towungana were not ready with their own figures to compare with ours," he said.

Mr Silaigwana said MDC-T representative Chris Mbanga and Towungana had indicated that their results do not tally with those presented by ZEC.

"We have adjourned to give them an opportunity to present their figures for comparison with our totals and if the figures do not tally, then they have to prove their source of results.

"We, as ZEC, are the authority with the results and if we do not reach an agreement we have to go back to the primary source of results which are the V11 forms from all polling stations.

"The V11 forms are the only source of results and they also have signatures of representatives from all parties," he said.

Zanu-PF secretary for legal affairs Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa represented President Mugabe at the verification process with Mbanga representing MDC-T candidate Morgan Tsvangirai.

Independent candidates Simba Makoni and Towungana were present at the process, which was delayed by about 20 minutes after the latter failed to make it to the venue at the starting time.

Observers from Sadc, the Zimbabwe Election Support Network, Zimbabwe Indigenous Economic Organisation and the Zimbabwe National Drivers' Union observed the process.

Mbanga said the process had started well, indicating that it would continue today.

"We have started the process of verifying the presidential results and the process has been going on well since we started," he said.

Zanu-PF media sub-committee chairperson Cde Patrick Chinamasa has said the results the ruling party, the MDC-T and independent monitors have show that no candidate garnered the mandatory 51 percent to be declared outright winner, requiring a run-off between the two candidates with the highest votes.

The verification is expected to pave the way for the announcement of the presidential poll results.

Results of the House of Assembly, Senate and council polls have since been announced.

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