President Emmerson Mnangagwa has won Zimbabwe’s presidential election, the country’s electoral commission revealed.
Mr Mnangagwa with all 10 provinces declared won 50.8% of votes to 44.3% for opposition leader Nelson Chamisa.
Police removed opposition officials from the electoral commission stage when they rejected the results.
The chairman of Mr Chamisa’s MDC Alliance said the count could not be verified. By narrowly winning more than 50% of the vote, Mr Mnangagwa avoids a second run-off election against Mr Chamisa.
Mr Chamisa has insisted he has won the presidential poll, telling reporters earlier on Thursday the ruling Zanu-PF party was “trying to bastardise the result”, something that “we will not allow”.
But the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) said there was “absolutely no skulduggery”.
Opposition supporters protested in Harare over alleged vote-rigging, which led to six deaths on
The elections were the first since long-time ruler Robert Mugabe, 94, was ousted in November last year.
The polls were intended to set Zimbabwe on a new path following Mr Mugabe’s repressive rule.
Harare was a ghost town on Thursday following Wednesday’s violence, as troops patrolled the city centre ordering people to “behave”
Mr Mnangagwa said the government was in talks with Mr Chamisa to defuse the crisis and proposed an independent investigation to bring those who were behind the violence to justice.
“This land is home to all of us, and we will sink or swim together,” Mr Mnangagwa said in a series of tweets.
The day after the election, the MDC Alliance said Mr Chamisa had won the presidential election, pre-empting an official announcement and prompting its supporters to celebrate in some areas of Harare
When Zec announced that Zanu-PF had won the parliamentary vote by a landslide on Wednesday, things turned nasty.
The opposition supporters were are also angered by the delay in announcing the presidential results.
Home Affairs Minister Obert Mpofu said the government would not tolerate such protests.
The opposition “are testing our resolve, and I think they are making a big mistake”, he said. A spokesman for Mr Chamisa condemned the deployment of soldiers and the subsequent loss of life.