|President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF party has won two-thirds of
the vote in Zimbabwe's parliamentary elections.
The result enables the president to change the
constitution to install a successor without immediately calling elections as
So far the party has taken 71 of 120 contested seats,
and Mr Mugabe can appoint another 30 deputies to the 150-seat parliament.
The opposition, which has 39 seats, has spoken of
"massive fraud" in the poll.
In the last parliamentary election in 2000, the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) won 58 seats.
Mr Mugabe's Zanu-PF won 61 of the eligible seats but
its parliamentary strenngth was boosted with the extra 30 presidential
appointments, but this was short of a two-thirds majority.
In these latest polls, the recently sacked
information minister Jonathan Moyo won a surprise seat as an independent.
Mr Moyo, the architect of Zimbabwe's tough media laws
who fell out with the president over the appointment of the country's first
woman vice-president, took the Tsholotsho constituency from the opposition MDC.
'Over the moon'
The BBC's Themba Nkosi says Zanu-PF supporters have
taken to the streets in celebration in northern parts of the country, but the
atmosphere is more muted in the second city of Bulawayo where the MDC draws its
Security is tight, with police patrolling the streets
warning the winners not to provoke those who lost, he says.
MDC: 39 seats
Zanu-PF: 71 seats
Yet to be declared: 9 seats
Elected seats: 120 seats
Seats appointed by the president: 30
Independent Jonathan Moyo,
Zanu-PF Emmerson Mnangagwa, parliament
Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa told the BBC's
Focus on Africa programme that he was "over the moon" about his party's victory.
All Zanu-PF's hard work had paid off and the result
was a vindication of the party's good policies, he said.
He rejected claims by the UK, the US and Germany that
Thursday's election was "flawed".
"These were the most free and fair elections in the
world," he said.
Mr Tsvangirai accused the ruling party of stealing
"We are deeply disturbed by the fraudulent activities
we have unearthed," he said.
"We believe the people of Zimbabwe must defend their
votes, their right to a free and a fair election - this is what has been
denied," he said.
President Mugabe, who has been in power for 25 years,
dismissed opposition complaints as nonsense.
Average turnout was below 50%, chief elections
officer Lovemore Sekeramai said while local election observers describing the
process as smooth.
The Zimbabwe Election Support Network, which had some
6,000 observers in the 8,000 polling stations, says that some 10% of would-be
voters were turned away, either because their names were not on the electoral
roll, they did not have the right identity papers, or they were in the wrong
One man told the BBC News website that his name had
been taken off the register since the last election and yet the name of his aunt
was still there, although she had died six years ago.
Human rights groups say that hundreds of thousands of
"ghost voters" appear on the electoral roll of 5.8 million people. They fear
these entries could be used to record fraudulent votes.
Our correspondent says MDC officials were visibly
shocked when the Harare South seat went to Zanu-PF, leaving them to question the
voters' register and the re-drawing of constituency boundaries.
Other key results:
- Parliament speaker Emmerson Mnangagwa, once tipped
to succeed Mr Mugabe, lost in the central Kwekwe constituency.
- MDC candidate Heather Bennett, wife of jailed MP Roy
Bennett, lost his Chimanimani seat.