Election court case to be ruled on Sunday

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The High Court in Zimbabwe is expected to rule Sunday (today) in an opposition petition to force the national elections body to release delayed presidential poll results.

The ruling was earlier slated for Saturday but had to be shifted to Sunday.

The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), the country’s main opposition party, had filed an urgent petition in the High Court to force the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to release results of presidential elections held last Saturday.

The elections body has said it is still counting and verifying ballots cast, including for a senatorial poll held at the same time, whose results have only been partially declared.

But ZEC lawyers argued they were not ready for the case, after only being engaged Saturday, forcing High Court Judge Tendai Uchena to postpone the hearing to Sunday.

The opposition believes the elections body had the poll results, but was being pressured by the government not to release them for some unexplained reasons.

The MDC, which beat the ruling party in the contest for the lower house of parliament, has claimed it similarly defeated President Robert Mugabe in the presidential race.

Both the government and ZEC have dismissed the claims.

The delay in releasing the elections results has thrown the whole exercise into controversy, in addition to triggering political tensions in the country.

The MDC said Saturday it had also appealed to the United Nations to intervene, and to force ZEC to release the results.

It accused the government of planning to rig the poll and violently suppress any opposition protests against the declared results.

The army and police are on full alert to thwart any possible violence.

Almost six million people were registered to vote in the election. Panapress.

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