The 28-year reign of presidential power may soon be over for Zimbabwean incumbent Robert Mugabe after Saturday's election indicated the opposition leader collected the majority votes.
Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party spokesmen told the Associated Press that Morgan Tsvangirai is projected to defeat Mugabe, however, the margin will not be sufficient to avoid a run-off vote.
Official results on Tuesday showed ZANU-PF with a narrow lead of two seats in the parliamentary poll with 131 out of 210 constituencies declared. A breakaway opposition party under third candidate Simba Makoni, a former finance minister, took another five seats.
While the Southern African country waits impatiently for the elections results to be announced, civic groups released its own projections of who the next president would be, if the elections go unrigged.
According to Zimbabwe Election Support Network estimates, Morgan Tsvangirai would receive 47 percent to 51.8 percent, while Mr. Mugabe would get 39.2 percent to 44.4 percent of the vote.
No official results have yet emerged after this weekend's elections. The opposition charges that the delay veils attempts by Mugabe to hang on to power by rigging the vote.
The Zimbabwean electoral commission has urged people to be patient while Saturday's votes are verified before being announced.
As one of Africa's longest serving leaders, Mugabe, 84, has ruled Zimbabwe with an iron fist and is seeking sixth term. Political analysts, diplomats and Zimbabweans have long contended that Mugabe is not a man that is likely to give up his tight grip on power without a fight.
Mugabe took power when Zimbabwe was formed in 1980 out of the former British colony Rhodesia, and has grown increasingly authoritarian as the nation's economy and living standards have deteriorated.
Zimbabweans are suffering the world's highest inflation of more than 100,000 percent with constant food and fuel shortages, and an HIV/AIDS epidemic that has all contributed to a sharp decline in life expectancy, causing his support base to shrink.
Tsvangirai's from the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) said he has won and the delay can only mean outcome will be rigged.
It is now clear that there is something fishy. The whole thing is suspicious and totally unacceptable, MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa said.
The elections have drawn international attention as seven European countries and the United States called on Zimbabwe's Electoral Commission to quickly release the results.
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown called for their immediate publication, saying the democratic rights of Zimbabweans must be upheld.
The eyes of the world ... will be upon Zimbabwe so that the doubts that people have and the questions people have can be answered, Brown said.
The Bush administration has also noticed the delay. We're urging the election commission to count every vote honestly and to release results quickly that reflect the will and preferences of the people of Zimbabwe, said Tony Fratto, a White House spokesman.