3 Aug 2013

Mugabe's party wins parliamentary majority

9:38 am on 3 August 2013

President Robert Mugabe's party has won a large majority in parliamentary elections, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has announced.

With most seats declared, officials said Zanu-PF had won 137 seats in the 210-seat chamber, just short of two-thirds.

If Zanu-PF clinches a two-thirds majority it will be able to change Zimbabwe's constitution.

Results in the presidential race, denounced by Mr Mugabe's main rival as a sham, have yet to be announced.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, 61, who heads the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and is running for president against Mr Mugabe, said the vote was "null and void".

A Zimbabwe monitoring group which had some 7000 observers on the ground said the poll was seriously compromised with as many as one million people unable to cast their ballots.

But the two main observer groups have broadly endorsed the election, saying it was free and peaceful, the BBC reports. The head of the African Union observer mission, Olusegun Obasanjo, said the election was fair and free "from the campaigning point of view".

Mr Mugabe, 89, is running for a seventh term. Zanu-PF and the MDC have formed an uneasy coalition government since 2009. That deal ended deadly violence that erupted after a disputed presidential poll the previous year.