Zimbabwe's main opposition party today filed a legal challenge to the results of the country's first election without Robert Mugabe on the ballot, alleging irregularities and calling for a fresh vote or for their candidate Nelson Chamisa to be declared the winner.
The filing brings more uncertainty to a country that had hoped the peaceful vote would begin a new era but has been rocked by scenes of military in the streets and opposition supporters harassed and beaten.
The court now has 14 days to rule, and Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi said the inauguration, once planned for Sunday, "is on hold' until then. Lawyers for the Movement for Democratic Change party arrived at court less than an hour before the deadline to submit papers. "We have a good case and cause!" Chamisa said on Twitter.
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has said President Emmerson Mnangagwa and the ruling ZANU-PF party won the July 30 election, with the president receiving 50.8 per cent of the vote and Chamisa receiving 44.3 per cent.
"We have managed to place before the courts all the mathematical and statistical irregularities," lawyer Thabani Mpofu told journalists as they emerged from the courthouse. A copy of the filing was not immediately available.
The opposition has claimed since shortly after the election that the vote was rigged but withheld evidence for the court challenge. A number of grassroots groups and NGOs that fanned out across the country have released reports questioning high turnout in some areas, striking differences in the number of voters for president and parliamentary seats in some cases and other concerns.
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