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The Ruling ZANU-PF Party is Expected To Win a Majority in Zimbabwe’s Parliamentary Election

  • Sam Peskin

Results from Zimbabwe's parliamentary election will not be official for another day. Opposition leaders and countries such as England and the United States, say the vote was skewed by years of violence and intimidation. The ruling ZANU-PF Party is expected to win a majority. Paul Miller has the story.

Zimbabweans waited in long lines Thursday to cast ballots.

Unlike the last parliamentary election in 2000 when Western observers reported widespread violence, the 2005 election appeared to be relatively peaceful.

However, opposition leaders and independent rights groups said the poll was slanted before it even started. Morgan Tsvangirai leads the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.

"We are not happy with the way the electoral playing field has been organized, and I think we all agree, on all benchmarks, this is not going to be a free and fair election," says Mr. Tsvangirai.

Zimbabwe's President, Robert Mugabe, has been criticized for several policies, including ones that have lead to the contraction of the country's economy; it has shrunk 50 percent over the past five years. Despite it all, Mr. Mugabe was confident he would be victorious. The President's main concern was that Western leaders were backing the six-year old Movement for Democratic Change, the first party to seriously challenge his rule since he lead Zimbabwe to independence in 1980.

"I am President of my country. We have our own rules here. I say we are sovereign, they should not interfere with our sovereignty, that is all," says Mr. Mugabe.

Some 5.8 million of Zimbabwe's nearly 12 million people were registered to vote. But up to three and a half million Zimbabweans who live overseas, many of whom are believed to be opposition supporters, were barred from casting ballots.