Zimbabwe’s long-delayed parliamentary by-election was won by the leading opposition party, the Citizens’ Coalition for Change (CCC) led by Nelson Chamisa.
State-owned ZBC-TV Sunday night reported that the CCC won the majority in Saturday’s elections; 19 out of the 28 national assembly seats.
The remaining 9 seats went to the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) which still holds a parliamentary majority.
The party’s victory was evidence that “citizens came together and achieved a resounding victory for the movement,” CCC spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere said.
The parliamentary and local government by-elections are seen as a preview of next year’s presidential elections. The opposition is hoping to dislodge ZANU-PF, which has been in power since Zimbabwe’s independence in 1980.
Before the results were announced, independent election observers said the by-elections were marred by intimidation and vote-buying, including giving out of foodstuffs to voters.
While the voting day was largely peaceful, it said that the above-average voter turn-out at some rural polling stations suggested community coercion.
The group noted high numbers of people needing assistance to vote in several polling stations.