Zimbabwe having trouble counting the ballots


Final results from Zimbabwe's one-candidate presidential election have been delayed, election officials say.

They said they hoped they would be able to announce the results on Sunday - a day later than originally expected.

President Robert Mugabe was said to have won by a wide margin, after the opposition boycotted the vote amid claims of violence and intimidation.

But international observers have reported many spoilt ballots, which in some areas could outnumber votes cast.

Earlier, officials said the count was complete, but later reports said results from rural areas were still trickling in.

"Tonight we cannot give the results. I don't want to give a time-frame, but I hope it will be tomorrow," Utoile Silaigwana, the deputy chief elections officer for the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, told Reuters news agency.


It would be embarrassing to lose a one man race. It appears that several voters deliberately spoiled their ballots. If they outnumber the "good" ballots it would be a huge blow to Mugabe's credibility since they were clearly a message of defiance to his campaign of intimidation.


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