Zimbabwe's Chamisa challenges election result

Nelson Chamisa

Zimbabwe's main opposition leader, Nelson Chamisa, filed a court challenge on Friday against President Emmerson Mnangagwa's election victory, halting Mnangagwa's planned Sunday inauguration.

"It will no longer happen".

In the country's first elections since Robert Mugabe's 37-year rule came to an end, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) confirmed last week that the ruling Zanu-PF had picked up 50.8% of the votes that were cast, declaring Emmerson Mnangagwa the country's newly-elected president.

The Constitutional Court now has 14 days to rule on the legal challenge by the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

Party leader Nelson Chamisa tweeted: "Our legal team successfully filed our court papers".

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

Mr Chamisa wants the court to declare him the victor or call a fresh election, it is reported.

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Preparations have been in the works for Sunday's event for months between law local enforcement agencies, U.S. One counter-protester, Heather Heyer , was killed when a rally-goer allegedly plowed his auto into a crowd.

European Union observers said that the ZANU-PF candidate had benefitted from an "un-level playing field" and some voter intimidation, though global monitors largely praised the conduct of the election.

The Constitutional Court can nullify the results in which case there has to be a fresh election within 60 days.

"We've managed to place before the court forms that show the (results) figures were erased", MDC party lawyer Thabani Mpofu told reporters.

In recent days, the U.S. has criticised the treatment of opposition supporters and in particular key opposition figure Tendai Biti, who has been arrested in connection with the post-election violence.

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

They may now need to send apologies just in case someone turns up. "But if they want to meet us in court we have sufficient legal minds to meet them squarely in court", ZANU-PF legal secretary Paul Mangwana said.

Supporters of the MDC took to the streets on August 1 to protest against the alleged fraud, triggering a brutal response from the military which opened fire on the demonstrators, leaving six people dead.

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