Race to Become Zimbabwean President Tightens as Election Looms

(Bloomberg) -- The margin of support for the main candidates in Zimbabwe’s presidential election narrowed as the country prepares to go to the polls on July 30, Afrobarometer said.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa of the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front has the backing of 40 percent of voters, compared with 37 percent for the Movement for Democratic Change’s Nelson Chamisa, the research company said in a survey published on its website on Friday. That compares with 42 percent for Mnangagwa and 31 percent for Chamisa two months ago, it said.

The election is the first since Mnangagwa, a 75-year-old former vice president and spy chief, replaced former President Robert Mugabe last year. If neither candidate wins more than 50 percent, the country will hold a run-off election Sept. 8, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has said.

Afrobarometer said it polled 2,400 Zimbabweans of voting age in all 10 of the country’s provinces.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.