Zimbabwe’s Opposition Files Court Papers Challenging Vote Result

(Bloomberg) -- Zimbabwe’s main opposition alliance filed court papers challenging the results of last week’s presidential election.

Lawyers for the Movement for Democratic Change lodged documents at the Constitutional Court in the capital, Harare, shortly before a 4:30 p.m. deadline, MDC leader Nelson Chamisa said in a statement on Twitter on Friday. Under Zimbabwean law, the inauguration of the incoming president scheduled for Aug. 12 must be postponed until the court rules on the challenge.

“We have successfully filed our court papers,” Chamisa said. “We have a good case and cause.”

Zimbabwe’s Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi said “for now it seems the inauguration is off,” citing reports that the MDC had petitioned the Constitutional Court, in a phone interview Friday.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission declared incumbent President Emmerson Mnangagwa the winner of the July 30 vote with 50.8 percent of the ballots cast, enough for him to avoid a run-off. The MDC says the vote was rigged and that Chamisa, who officially obtained 44 percent, should have been declared president.

Western and local observers said while the campaign and vote were largely peaceful, the electoral process was badly flawed. The dispute over the election outcome triggered demonstrations in Harare that led to the deaths of at least six people, when security forces fired on the protesters.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.