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Zimbabwe awaits result from historic election

ELECTION: (Photo credit: The Zimbabwe Mail)

ZIMBABWEANS ARE awaiting the first results from the elections after decades under former leader Robert Mugabe.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission say the first results were expected Tuesday afternoon, with the final tally expected within five days. The turnout varied from 60 to 78 percent with some areas still reporting.

"The atmosphere has remained peaceful" and the commission has not received any major complaints about how the election was conducted, chief Priscilla Chigumba told reporters.

She said she was confident there was no "cheating" and that the commission will respect the will of Zimbabweans: "We will not steal their choice of leaders, we will not subvert their will." If no presidential candidate wins more than 50 percent of the vote, a runoff will be held Sept. 8.

The two main contenders are 75-year-old President Emmerson Mnangagwa, a former deputy president and 40-year-old Nelson Chamisa, a lawyer and pastor who became head of the main opposition party a few months ago, after the death of its leader.

"I am delighted by the high turnout and citizen engagement so far," Mnangagwa tweeted, while Chamisa wrote: "We've done exceedingly well".

According to Associated Press, more than 5.5 million people were registered to vote in an election featuring a record number of more than 20 presidential candidates and nearly 130 political parties vying for parliamentary seats.

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