Zimbabwe-Elections 7thLd-Writethru 04-01
A pedestrian passes an election poster and newspaper banner headline in Bulawayo Tuesday.
Opposition claims victory
Zimbabwe’s opposition claimed victory Monday in the elections, while a slow trickle in official results raised fears that supporters of longtime President Robert Mugabe were rigging the count.
Mugabe has been accused of stealing previous elections, but that was before Zimbabwe’s once thriving farm economy nearly collapsed and before leading members of the ruling party openly defied him.
Independent observers said trends supported the main opposition party’s contention that it was leading in the presidential race.
"We have won an election. Mugabe’s victory is not possible given the true facts," Tendai Biti, secretary-general of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, told reporters.
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission offered no results in the presidential race. And the body took 24 hours to release results from just 90 parliamentary seats out of the 128 contested.