In 18 of 23 constituencies, the results of parliamentary elections recount were unchanged, said Zimbabwe’s Electoral Commission (ZEC).
This means that, for the first time since Zimbabwe’s independence from Britain, in 1980, Zanu-PF, the party of the president, Robert Mugabe, has lost the parliamentary majority.
According to Haru Mutasa, Al Jazeera’s correspondent in Harare, Zanu-PF had increased their winning majority in some seats, which could benefit Mr Mugabe in the presidential vote. She said : “basically this outcome could affect the presidential results, whenever those will be announced.”
The presidential vote was held on March 29, parallel to the parliamentary poll, and the election commission is still to release any results. The MDC leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, has claimed that he won the presidential election outright and has accused Mugabe of delaying results to rig a victory.
The ZEC said that the presidential results could be announced after the completion of the recounts, expected on Monday.
George Charamba, a spokesman for Mugabe said that it was a good thing for the country that the commission had confirmed the original results after the partial recount. “Remember we are building democracy, we are building institutions in a new system of voting that we have never had in this country” he said.
After a crackdown on the opposition, came Mr Mugabe’s latest hope to stay president, after 28 years in power. On Saturday the police said that 215 people were detained during a raid, the previous day, on the MDC headquarter.
US made ‘unfounded announcements’
Police spokesman, Wayne Bvudzijena, quoted in the state-controlled Herald newspaper said that ” police rounded up 215 people at Harvest House.”He also said that the detainees “will be screened against participation in politically motivated criminal activities around the country.”
Lawyers have told the BBC they have been denied access to about 185 MDC supporters still in custody. None of those arrested had been charged, reports said.
On Friday, Tendai Biti, the MDC secretary-general, told Al Jazeera that the raid, by about 250 riot police carrying batons, was part of a “violent crackdown” against the opposition.
According to him, many people at the office were refugees fleeing from violence and torture in the countryside. The MDC also said that during Friday’s raid, police took computers and equipment.
They were looking for “subversive material likely to overthrow the government using unconstitutional means”, said Noel Kututwa, chairman of the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN). The offices of the ZESN were also raided and Kututwa said police wanted to arrest him and his deputy, Rindai Chipfunde-Vava.
The ruling party also criticised Jendayi Frazer (photo), US assistant secretary of state for African affairs, because she said Morgan Tsvangirai was the winner and called on Robert Mugabe to step down.
While touring the region to tackle the post-election crisis, Ms Frazer said the level of government intimidation in Zimbabwe was now so high that a fair run-off would be impossible.
To her, the only solution was an inclusive government, led by the opposition MDC.
Patrick Chinamasa, Zimbabwe justice minister said that “Frazer has no moral or legal authority to make unfounded announcements on our domestic processes.”
“It is no secret the US and Britain have poured in large sums of money behind the MDC’s sustained demonisation campaign that seeks to render the country ungovernable.”
To Ebrahim Fakir, a senior researcher at the centre for policy studies in Johannesburg, the US declaration was “unfortunate because it gives some credence and some legitimacy to the fact Mugabe has been going around saying there are other powers that seek to intervene [in Zimbabwe].”