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Vote Counting Begins in Zimbabwe's Peaceful General Election

Zimbabwe's sixth general election ended on time Thursday with reports coming in from around the country of a peaceful voting day. The election appeared to be run efficiently and there were few long lines.

Counting has already begun after voting ended late Thursday in Zimbabwe's general election, after a peaceful and well organized one-day poll.

Long lines in urban areas, which marked the last national election in 2002, were absent. Most voters were processed quickly, with a few exceptions in Harare, where some lined up for five hours.

Early reports of voter turnout indicate a fairly high, or above 50 percent, participation in urban areas, including the capital, Harare.

Several voting districts, which were changed for this election, recorded an abnormally high number of voters turned away. The reason for this is not yet known. The opposition Movement for Democratic Change had protested the new boundaries saying people would be confused.

Foreign observers of this election are mainly from South Africa, as groups from Europe and the United States were banned. Early indications are that the South Africans will endorse the 2005 election on Friday as sufficiently free and fair for the results to be recognized by the international community.