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Counting under way in Zimbabwe's presidential showdown

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Counting under way in Zimbabwe's presidential showdown


The count is underway in Zimbabwe’s hotly contested presidential and parliamentary elections.

After a bitterly fought campaign there have been opposition allegations of vote rigging, with the Movement for Democratic Change accusing the ruling Zanu-PF of doctoring the electoral roll.

But election monitors said the vote had been carried out with few problems.

President Robert Mugabe, who has been in power for 33 years, has promised to step down if he loses this time round.

His rival, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, who is making his third attempt to unseat Mugabe, described his vote as an emotional moment after all the conflict and hostility.

In 2008 Tsvangirai won the first round but pulled out of the run-off with Mugabe due to attacks on his supporters which left about 200 people dead. Only a power-sharing unity government stopped the bloodshed.

As usual in Zimbabwe there was a high voter turn out but with no reliable opinion polls it is hard to say who will come out on top – both sides are forecasting a landslide victory. The results are due within five days.

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