Zimbabwe Opposition Lodges Appeal Against Election Result

Tendai Biti

Zimbabwe's opposition coalition has filed a legal challenge to results of the country's recent election, in a move that delays the inauguration of Emmerson Mnangagwa as president of Zimbabwe.

Should the alliance petition be filed today, the inauguration will be guided by Section 93 (3) of the Constitution which speaks of the court having to determine whether the President-elect has been elected correctly and if so, after the judgment has been passed, inauguration has to happen within 48 hours.

Sunday's ceremony has been delayed after Nelson Chamisa, leader of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) launched a legal bid claiming last month's poll was rigged.

"There will not be any inauguration this Sunday until this matter has been resolved in the courts", said Chamisa's lawyer Thabani Mpofu said.

The court's decision on the matter is final.

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Mr Chamisa wants the court to declare him the victor or call a fresh election, it is reported.

Under the constitution, a losing presidential candidate has seven days to challenge the result from when a victor is declared.

"On the basis of the evidence we have placed before the court, we seek in the main relief to the effect that the court should declare the proper victor and the proper victor is my client", Mpofu told reporters outside.

The MDC Alliance has a tall order as it has to demonstrate to the court that, indeed, there were instances in which the law was not complied with and show how such irregularities influenced the final results of the elections.

Mnangagwa's ruling ZANU-PF party dismissed the legal action.

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"If [the judges] think the evidence is weak they could throw the case out fairly fast".

Mr Chamisa wants the court to declare him the victor or call a fresh election, his lawyer told Reuters news agency on Friday.

At least six people were killed two days after the vote in clashes between security forces and MDC Alliance supporters who alleged that Mr Chamisa had been robbed of victory.

The MDC reported that its foreign lawyers had initially been denied entry into the Constitutional Court on work permit grounds.

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