The Robert Mugabe era in Zimbabwe will be prolonged for a seventh consecutive term.
Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party has won a two-thirds majority in parliament, according to local election officials, by gaining 142 seats in the 210-seat assembly, following polls that leading opposition figure Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, who leads the the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), has already labeled a “ huge farce.”
Results of the presidential race between Mugabe and Tsvangirai have yet to be announced -- but given Zanu-PF’s huge margin of victory, Mugabe is almost assured to return to power.
Zanu-PF spokesman Rugaro Gumbo predicted Mugabe, now 89 years old, will win in a “landslide,” according to the local Herald newspaper.
Brian Hungwe, BBC correspondent in Harare, said that the resounding triumph by Mugabe’s party has left many people in shock and despair.
“Many cannot understand how… Mugabe's party managed to win seats in… Tsvangirai's urban strongholds,” he wrote.
“In contrast, Zanu-PF supporters feel they have brought back the father of the nation, who fought colonial rule and restored the dignity of black Zimbabweans.”
The Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN), a local domestic monitoring group, said the election was "seriously compromised", with up to million people unable to cast ballots, particularly in urban areas where Tsvangirai is popular.
Mugabe had banned the European Union and other foreign groups including the US-based Carter Center from monitoring the Zimbabwe election.