Emmerson Mnangagwa has claimed victory in the Zimbabwe general election.
Incumbent Mr Mnangagwa was the favourite to win Zimbabwe’s general election and has been declared the victor according to the nation’s electoral commission following a turnout of around 70% amongst Zimbabwe’s more than five million registered voters.
President Mnangagwa has reportedly won 50.8% with main opponent Nelson Chamisa claiming 44.3% in what is the closest Presidential election in decades.
Mr Mnangagwa said he was “humbled” by his election victory, additionally stating on Twitter that “though we may have been divided at the polls, we are united in our dreams.”
President Mnangagwa’s victory means that despite the fall of Mugabe, his party ZANU-PF will continue to rule Zimbabwe until at least 2023.
However, despite the election being the closest in many decades, there are still cries of foul play, with Morgen Komichi, Chairman of Zimbabwe’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), stating that the party would reject the result, just minutes before Mnangagwa was declared the winner.
Runner-up in the election Nelson Chamisa has additionally accused ZANU-PF of vote-rigging, however, has yet to provide evidence of this occurring.
These accusations have only worsened recent tensions in the nation’s capital Harare, which has seen 6 killed and several other injured whilst protesting the result they believe was rigged, with western election observers stating concern over excessive force.
The 75-year-old Mnangagwa initially came to power in November after leading his military allies to force former president Mugabe to resign.
Despite having been a close ally of Mugabe’s for years, Mnangagwa has presented himself as a reformer and has opened Zimbabwe’s election for western observers to ensure it was free and fair.
The president has also declared Zimbabwe as ‘open for business’ in what many believe will be a new dawn for the nation.
President Mnangagwa’s party ZANU-PF also claimed 144 seats in Zimbabwe’s parliament earlier this week, making them the largest party, although with a smaller majority than they claimed in the 2013 election.
The election is monumental for Zimbabwe and was never going to be absent of controversy and contention, but the first time in nearly four decades, Zimbabwe have elected a new president.