'There'll be no runoff in Zim after huge turnout' says expert

An expert on Zimbabwean politics at the University of Westminster has urged the country’s election candidates to accept the vote outcome as the counting process started on Monday.

In an interview with News24, Dr Winston Mano, Director of the Africa Media Centre at the University of Westminster predicted that there would be a clear winner after Monday's elections, but no party would "be able achieve a two-thirds majority." 

Mano said that there would be no need for a runoff.

A record of more than 20 presidential candidates and nearly 130 political parties participated in the just ended election.

If no presidential candidate wins 50% of the vote, a runoff will be held on September 8.

"The rallies do not translate into voters. People make rallies for all kinds of reasons which may not be linked to voting. Each party will need to persuade its supporters to go and vote. If turn out is good, it is my view that either MDC or Zanu-PF will win by more than 51% and there will be no need for a runoff. However, it will be difficult for the parties to achieve two-thirds majority," said Mano.

No appetite for violence

He, however, said that any party which loses the elections should gracefully accept defeat and the winners must  be able to work with the losing candidates and form a coalition in order to make the necessary changes in the country.

Mano said there was no longer an appetite for violence as the rebuilding of the country was more important for the southern African nation.

According to the Associated Press, some observers welcomed Zimbabwe's freer political environment but cited worries about bias in state media, a lack of transparency in ballot printing and reports of intimidation by pro-government traditional leaders who are supposed to stay neutral.

 

* To follow the latest on the Zimbabwe elections SIGN UP TO THE HELLO AFRICA NEWSLETTER

FOLLOW News24 Africa on Twitter and Facebook