Zimbabwe’s ruling Zanu-PF party has won the most seats in parliament, according to incomplete official results.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s party is poised to win a substantial parliamentary majority in Monday’s poll – the first elections since long-serving ruler Robert Mugabe was ousted.

The result of the presidential vote is expected later on Wednesday.

Earlier, the opposition MDC Alliance said that vote had been rigged and that its candidate Nelson Chamisa had won.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) has announced 110 seats for Zanu-PF so far, and 41 for MDC Alliance, ZBC state media reported.

There are 210 seats in the National Assembly’s lower house.

Monday’s polls attracted a high turnout of 70%.

State broadcaster ZBC has reported that the electoral commission will announce the presidential results at 12:30 local time (10:30 GMT).

What are election observers saying?

The African Union has said the elections were free and fair, adding that they marked an important moment for political transition in Zimbabwe.

A preliminary report by the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) observer mission says that the elections were largely peaceful and conducted accordance with the law.

Its representative, Angola’s Foreign Minister, Manuel Domingos Augusto, called the poll “a political watershed in Zimbabwe’s history” that would lead to “consolidation of democracy”.

Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) praised the electoral commission for using Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) kits, saying it reduced the possibility of multiple voting.

EU and US election monitoring teams are to issue their reports later on Wednesday.

Presentational grey line

Opposition splits show in votes

By Pumza Fihlani, BBC News, Harare

Watching the results trickling in from the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) in the early hours, it became apparent that the ruling Zanu-PF had would have a majority in parliament.

Races in some constituencies were so close that they could have gone to the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), had it not been split between Nelson Chinamasa’s MDC Alliance and Thokozani Khupe’s MDC-T.

The MDC broke into factions after the death in February of its veteran leader Morgan Tsvangirai as his deputies battled over who his successor should be. In the polls that split showed. It is a lesson for the opposition that in future they not to lose sight of the bigger prize.

Presentational grey line

Meet the frontrunners:

Emmerson Mnangagwa, Zanu-PF

Emmerson Mnangagwa at a rally in Harare, ZimbabweImage copyrightAFP
  • Known as “the crocodile” because of his political shrewdness – his party faction is known as “Lacoste”
  • Accused of masterminding attacks on opposition supporters after the 2008 election
  • Thought to be 75 years old, he promises to deliver jobs and is seen as open to economic reforms
  • Survived several alleged assassination attempts, blamed on supporters of ex-President Mugabe.

The ‘crocodile’ who snapped back

Nelson Chamisa, MDC Alliance

Nelson Chamisa at a rally in Harare, ZimbabweImage copyrightREUTERS
  • His skull was fractured when beaten up by state security agents in 2007
  • Became an MP at 25, a cabinet minister at 31 and could become the youngest president at 40
  • A recently qualified pastor, he has been using the hashtag #GodIsInIt for his campaign
  • Has promised to rebuild the country’s devastated economy, but has been criticised for making extravagant promises – such as the introduction of a high-speed bullet train and bringing the Olympics to Zimbabwe.

BBC