Top Zimbabwe Court Begins Hearing Opposition Election Challenge

(Bloomberg) -- Zimbabwe’s highest court began considering the main opposition’s bid to overturn the results of last month’s presidential election because of alleged rigging.

Police maintained a heavy presence outside the Constitutional Court in the capital, Harare, as Chief Justice Luke Malaba got proceedings under way. The court has 14 days to decide whether to order a fresh election, a recount of ballots cast in the July 30 vote, or dismiss the case. Its decision can’t be appealed.

Zimbabwe’s electoral commission declared incumbent President Emmerson Mnangagwa the winner of the election with 50.8 percent of the ballots cast, enough for him to avoid a run-off. The opposition Movement for Democratic Change says the vote was rigged and that its leader Nelson Chamisa, who officially obtained 44 percent, should have been declared president.

Mnangagwa’s Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front party laid a counter argument against the MDC’s claims on Aug. 15, asking the court to overturn the MDC challenge, which it described as“political gamesmanship.”

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.