STORY HIGHLIGHTS


Mugabe re-elected as Zimbabwe president

CNC report from Harare
Added On August 4, 2013

KEYWORDS: Zimbabwe election|Mugabe

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has won a first round election victory, securing a seventh term as leader of the southern African nation.

But the major opposition party has rejected the results, calling them fraudulent and claiming vote rigging.

Official results show incumbent president Robert Mugabe gained over 61 percent of the presidential vote, while his main rival, Morgan Tsvangirai, trailed with 34 percent.

Mugabe's Zanu-PF party also secured a super-majority in the parliament, giving it the power to amend the constitution without the support of other parties.

SOUNDBITE: RUGARE GUMBO, Zanu-PF's National Spokesman:
It was a fantastic victory with a crashing victory over the opposition parties. We demonstrated that we still have the support of the people and the election is a reflection of the will of the people.What we are saying to Zimbabwean people is that, you have spoken, you have told us what you want us to so, you voted us because you want us to do certain things for you. And we are prepared to do those things for you.

But Tsvangirai refused to accept defeat. He condemned the vote as "fraudulent and stolen" and vowed to challenge the results in court.

Tsvangirai, Mugabe's major political challenger, has failed to unseat him for three times.

In the last several years, they have worked together in an uneasy power-sharing government that helped stabilize the crisis-ridden economy and prevent further bloodshed following a disputed election in 2008.

Zimbabwe's economy has gone through a roller-coaster... from one of Africa's most prosperous countries to near collapse.

The economy began to recover in 2009 after the government dumped the hyperinflation-crashed Zimbabwe dollar and adopted the U.S. dollar as its currency.

Both Mugabe and Tsvangirai claimed credit for the economic recovery and criticized the other's strategies to boost development.

Analyst says Mugabe and his party's victory will give Zimbabwe stability and certainty to move forward.

SOUNDBITE: MACHARIA MUENE, United States Inte’l Univ., Kenya
"I think the future is bright. Zimbabwe has gone through its worst phase, no questions about it, in fact things are looking up for Zimbabwe."

Mugabe has ruled Zimbabwe since independence from Britain in 1980.

The fresh election win now gives the 89-year-old another five-year tenure.