2018 Zimbabwean general election

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2018 Zimbabwean presidential election

← 2013 30 July 2018[1] 2023 →
Turnout70%[2]
  Emmerson Mnangagwa (2019-01-15).jpg Nelsonphoto.JPG
Nominee Emmerson Mnangagwa Nelson Chamisa
Party ZANU-PF MDC-T
Alliance None MDC Alliance
Popular vote 2,460,463 2,147,436
Percentage 50.8% 44.3%

2018 Zimbabwean presidential election by provinces.svg
Presidential election results map. Green denotes provinces won by Mnangagwa, red denotes those won by Chamisa.

President before election

Emmerson Mnangagwa
ZANU-PF

Elected President

Emmerson Mnangagwa
ZANU-PF

A general election was held on 30 July 2018 in Zimbabwe to elect the President and members of both houses of Parliament.[3] Held eight months after the 2017 coup d'état, the election was the first since independence in which former President Robert Mugabe was not a candidate.

ZANU–PF, the country's ruling party, went into the election with majorities in both the House of Assembly and the Senate. The main opposition, the Movement for Democratic Change – Tsvangirai, contested the election as part of the MDC Alliance, a coalition that included the MDC–T and six smaller parties. The election gave ZANU–PF control of both houses in the 9th Parliament of Zimbabwe, though with reduced majorities in each. The MDC Alliance gained seats in both houses, closely corresponding to ZANU–PF's losses.

In the presidential election, Emmerson Mnangagwa, who became President as a result of the 2017 coup, ran for reelection as the ZANU–PF candidate. Morgan Tsvangirai, the MDC–T leader expected to run against him, died in February 2018, and Nelson Chamisa, the new party leader, replaced him as the MDC Alliance candidate. In results that were disputed by the MDC Alliance, Mnangagwa won with 50.8% of the vote to Chamisa's 44.3%, giving him the majority needed to avoid a runoff. Mnangagwa won six of the country's ten provinces, while Chamisa won four, including the two metropolitan provinces, Harare and Bulawayo.

Electoral system[edit]

The President of Zimbabwe is elected using the two-round system.

The 270 members of the House of Assembly consist of 210 members elected in single-member constituencies and 60 women elected by proportional representation in ten six-seat constituencies based on the country's provinces. Voters cast a single vote, which is counted for both forms of election.[4] The 80 members of the Senate include 60 members elected from ten six-member constituencies (also based on the provinces) by proportional representation using party lists; the lists must have a woman at the top and alternate between men and women.[5] The other 20 seats include two reserved for people with disabilities and 18 for traditional chiefs.

According to the Constitution of Zimbabwe, the elections are required to be held before the official expiry date of the current parliamentary term, which is due to end on 21 August 2018.[6]

Presidential candidates[edit]

In 2015, long-term President Robert Mugabe announced that he would run for another term in 2018, and was adopted as the ZANU–PF candidate despite the fact that he would have been 94 at the time of the elections. Following the events of a military coup d'état in November 2017 and his deposition as leader of ZANU-PF, Mugabe resigned amidst parliamentary impeachment hearings on 21 November 2017.[7] His successor Emmerson Mnangagwa was chosen as the ZANU–PF candidate shortly after taking office.[8] On 29 July 2018, Robert Mugabe announced he would not support Emmerson Mnangagwa or the ZANU-PF party.[9]

It was unknown whether Morgan Tsvangirai, the long-time Zimbabwe opposition leader would have run in the elections following an announcement on 6 February 2018 which stated that Tsvangirai was critically ill and an MDC party source said "we should brace for the worst".[10] Tsvangirai subsequently died on 14 February.[11] Nelson Chamisa replaced Tsvangirai as the MDC candidate.[12][13]

On 20 October 2017, the Coalition of Democrats or CODE, a group formed by nine political parties, nominated the leader of the Renewal Democrats of Zimbabwe, Elton Mangoma, to be their presidential candidate in the election.[14]

Joice Mujuru, previously the Vice President of ZANU-PF before being ousted from the party in 2014, also registered her candidacy. Former Deputy Prime Minister Thokozani Khuphe, who leads a breakaway faction of the MDC after falling out with Nelson Chamisa, was also a candidate.[15]

In total 23 candidates stood for election.[16]

Background and campaign[edit]

The likelihood of the elections taking place was called into doubt following the 2017 coup. On 22 November 2017, a ZANU-PF spokesman said that Emmerson Mnangagwa would serve out the remainder of Robert Mugabe's term before the elections due to be held; during or before September 2018.[17] On 20 March 2018, Mnangagwa said he was looking forward to holding elections in July 2018.[1] In May, 30 July was set as the date of the election.[3]

On 18 January 2018, President Mnangagwa spoke to the Financial Times in an interview, in which he invited the EU, UN and the Commonwealth to send missions to Zimbabwe in order to monitor the elections.[18] On 29 July 2018, former President Mugabe gave a surprise press conference during which he stated he would not vote for Mnangagwa and ZANU-PF, the party he founded and led for decades.[19] Instead, he expressed the wish to vote for his long-time rival party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) led by Nelson Chamisa.[20][21]

Conduct[edit]

The credibility of the elections has been questioned by both Zimbabwean citizens[22] and the international community.[23] The opposition party have claimed that people aged 141 are registered to vote, and in one instance a single address had over 100 registered voters. Academic Tony Reeler has argued people should boycott the poll, otherwise they would legitimise the 2017 Zimbabwean coup d'état.[24] Opposition leader Nelson Chamisa indicated that his party would participate in the election, but requested the intervention of the Southern African Development Community and African Union.[25] The Zimbabwe Republic Police have been accused of requiring officers to cast postal ballots in front of their supervisors,[26] which is contrary to electoral law, which requires them to be a secret ballot.[27] The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) removed ghost voters and duplicate voters.[28] In 2015, the ZEC stated that Diaspora voting would be allowed in the 2018 election,[29] but Mnangagwa ruled this out.[30] Elmar Brok has claimed that ZANU-PF transported people to vote in an area in which they did not live.[31]

On 1 August, the opposition accused the government of rigging the vote. Just after the elections, supporters of Zanu-PF attacked houses of some MDC members.[32] In subsequent riots by MDC supporters, the army opened fire and killed three people, while three others died of their injuries the following day.[33]

Although the election process was peaceful, the main opposition party MDC Alliance claimed that Zanu PF and ZEC rigged the presidential election results to announce Emmerson Mnangagwa the winner. The party claimed that there was manipulation of figures which did not tally with what was recorded on V11 forms issued at each polling station.[34][35]

Opinion polling[edit]

Date(s) Polling organisation Sample size Turnout Mnangagwa Chamisa Undecided Lead
30 July 2018 2018 election Results N/A 70% 50.8% 44.3% N/A 6.5%
July 2018 Afrobarometer 2,400 N/A 40% 37% 20% 3%
June 2018 Afrobarometer N/A 85% 42% 31% 26% 11%

Results[edit]

On 1 August, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission released preliminary results which show that the ruling party ZANU-PF has won the majority of seats in parliament.[36][37] On 3 August, the Commission declared incumbent President Emmerson Mnangagwa the winner after receiving 2,460,463 (50.8%) votes to Nelson Chamisa’s 2,147,436 (44.3%).[38]

President[edit]

Presidential election results map. Green denotes districts won by Mnangagwa, red denotes those won by Chamisa.
Candidate Party Votes %
Emmerson Mnangagwa ZANU–PF 2,460,463 50.8
Nelson Chamisa MDC Alliance 2,147,436 44.3
Thokozani Khupe Movement for Democratic Change – Tsvangirai 45,573 0.9
Joseph Makamba Busha FreeZim Congress 17,566 0.4
Nkosana Moyo Alliance for People’s Agenda 15,223 0.3
Evaristo Chikanga Rebuilding Zimbabwe Party 13,141 0.3
Joice Mujuru People's Rainbow Coalition 12,878 0.3
Hlabangana Kwanele Republican Party 9,449 0.2
Blessing Kasiyamhuru Zimbabwe Partnership for Prosperity 7,022 0.1
William Mugadza Bethel Christian Party 5,809 0.1
Divine Mhambi National Alliance of Patriotic and Democratic Republicans 4,980 0.1
Peter Wilson Democratic Opposition Party 4,898 0.1
Peter Munyanduri New Patriotic Front 4,529 0.1
Ambrose Mutinhiri National Patriotic Front 4,107 0.1
Daniel Shumba United Democratic Alliance 3,907 0.1
Peter Gava United Democratic Front 2,866 0.1
Brian Mteki Independent 2,747 0.1
Lovemore Madhuku National Constitutional Assembly 2,738 0.1
Noah Ngoni Manyika Build Zimbabwe Alliance 2,678 0.1
Elton Mangoma Coalition of Democrats 2,437 0.1
Melbah Dzepasi #1980 Freedom Movement Zimbabwe 1,899 0.0
Violet Mariyacha United Democracy Movement 1,673 0.0
Timothy Chiguvare People’s Progressive Party 1,549 0.0
Invalid/blank votes
Total 100
Registered voters/turnout
Source: ZBC

House of Assembly[edit]

House of Assembly election results map.
  ZANU-PF
  MDC
  National Patriotic Front
  Independent
Zimbabwean general election, 2018 results (House of Assembly).svg
Party Votes % Seats
Common Women Total +/–
Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front 2,477,708 52.35 144 35 179 –17
Movement for Democratic Change Alliance 1,624,875 34.33 64 24 88
Movement for Democratic Change – Tsvangirai 161,824 3.42 0 1 1
People's Rainbow Coalition 61,644 1.30 0 0 0 New
National Patriotic Front 49,103 1.04 1 0 1 New
Zimbabwe Partnership for Prosperity 26,515 0.56 0 0 0 New
Zimbabwe African People's Union 16,088 0.34 0 0 0 0
Zimbabwe Democratic Union 11,199 0.24 0 0 0 New
National Constitutional Assembly 9,736 0.21 0 0 0 New
Mtwakazi Republic Party 9,554 0.20 0 0 0 New
Build Zim Alliance 8,486 0.18 0 0 0 New
Coalition of Democrats 6,522 0.14 0 0 0 New
FreeZim Congress 4,303 0.09 0 0 0 0
United Democratic Alliance 3,599 0.08 0 0 0 New
Republican Party of Zimbabwe 3,264 0.07 0 0 0 New
Freedom Movement #1980 2,146 0.05 0 0 0 New
Alliance for the Peoples Agenda 2,111 0.04 0 0 0 New
United African National Council 1,889 0.04 0 0 0 New
The African Democrats 1,387 0.03 0 0 0 New
United Movement for Democracy 1,357 0.03 0 0 0 0
Alliance for National Salvation 1,204 0.03 0 0 0 New
Zimbabwe Rainbow Democratic Party 1,172 0.02 0 0 0 New
People's Progressive Party Zimbabwe 1,064 0.02 0 0 0 New
Freedom Justice Coalition Zimbabwe 773 0.02 0 0 0 New
United Democratic Front 611 0.01 0 0 0 New
PRZ 494 0.01 0 0 0 New
Zimbabwe Labour Party 464 0.01 0 0 0 New
Zimbabwe Patriotic Movement 402 0.01 0 0 0 New
Zim First 373 0.01 0 0 0 New
National Action Party 362 0.01 0 0 0 New
Rebuilding Zimbabwe Party 346 0.01 0 0 0 New
Maat – Zimbabwe 342 0.01 0 0 0 New
Zimbabwe People's Party: Good People's Movement 328 0.01 0 0 0 New
Democratic Official Party 323 0.01 0 0 0 New
United Democracy Movement 318 0.01 0 0 0 New
Forces of Liberation Organization of African National Party 303 0.01 0 0 0 New
Chief's Party 282 0.01 0 0 0 New
United Crusade for Achieving Democracy Green Party of Zimbabwe 224 0.00 0 0 0 New
Unity Party Zimbabwe 214 0.00 0 0 0 New
New Zimbabwe Republican Party 198 0.00 0 0 0 New
Federal Democrats of Zimbabwe 194 0.00 0 0 0 New
ERA 177 0.00 0 0 0 New
Democratic Alliance–United People's Party 147 0.00 0 0 0 New
Progressive Democrats of Zimbabwe 144 0.00 0 0 0 New
United Christian Alliance 123 0.00 0 0 0 New
African People's Congress 70 0.00 0 0 0 New
Suffering Voices of Zimbabwe 66 0.00 0 0 0 New
Freedom Front 44 0.00 0 0 0 0
Independents 238,179 5.03 1 0 1 –1
Invalid/blank votes
Total 4,732,851 100 210 60 270 0
Registered voters/turnout
Source: ZEC

Senate[edit]

Senat zimbabwe 2018.svg
Party Seats +/–
Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front 34 –3
Movement for Democratic Change Alliance 25
Movement for Democratic Change – Tsvangirai 1
Chiefs 18
People with disabilities 2
Total 80 0
Source: ZBC

Aftermath[edit]

Within days after the election, there were protests by the Movement for Democratic Change opposition. The army opened fire on demonstrators and bystanders and killed six people. In the following days, many opposition supporters were arrested, according to opposition leaders and human rights groups.[39]

On 10 August, it was announced that Mnangagwa's inauguration, which had been scheduled for 12 August, would be delayed after Chamisa petitioned to challenge the election results in court, with a ruling due by the end of the month.[40] On 24 August 2018, the Supreme Court of Zimbabwe dismissed Chamisa's challenge and officially declared Mnangagwa the winner in a unanimous ruling.[41][42][43] The Chief Justice Luke Malaba noted that Chamisa refused both a recount and access to the ballot boxes.[44] Mnangagwa's inauguration and official swearing-in was then held on 26 August.[45][46]

Two Washington-based entities, American International Republican Institute (IRI) and National Democratic Institute (NDI), who have observant role in Zimbabwean 2018 elections, in Zimbabwe International Election Observation Mission (ZIEOM) have expressed doubts that the poll had a standard accepting value.[47] Manisha Singh, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs, told a congressional hearing that until the new government of President Emmerson Mnangagwa shows signs of "changing its ways," the U.S. government will not lift sanctions against Zimbabwe.[48]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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