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The Latest: Zimbabwe Pastor, who has led protests, admits



HARARE, Zimbabwe – The Latest on Zimbabwe's Election (All Times Local):

12 pm [19659007] A Zimbabwean pastor accused of leading large-scale anti-government protests when Robert Mugabe was defeated in his attempt to be elected Councilor in the capital, Harare.

Evan Mawarire, who congratulated # The Theflag's social media protest campaign, congratulated Jacob Mafume, a candidate in an opposition coalition led by the Movement for Democratic Change party. Mawarire ran as an independent.

The pastor was acquitted shortly after Mugabe's resignation following a military takeover in November. The judge who dismissed the case was Priscilla Chigumba, who oversees Zimbabwe's election as head of the Electoral Commission.

The first election results are expected on Tuesday afternoon. President Emmerson Mnangagwa and leading opposition leader Nelson Chamisa were optimistic about the results.

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11:15

The Zimbabwean Electoral Commission expects the election results to be announced at 3:00 pm. (1300GMT) on Tuesday.

Commissioner Priscilla Chigumba says most of the nearly 11,000 polling stations have completed the counting of votes and a verification process is in progress. She says "the atmosphere has remained peaceful" throughout the country and she has received no major complaints about how the elections were conducted on Monday.

Chigumba says the Election Commission has five days to publish the final report

She says she is confident that there is no "fraud" and says the electoral commission respects the Zimbabweans' will.

"We will not steal their leader election, we will not undermine their will," Chigumba says.

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8:30

Zimbabweans are waiting for the first results of an election that they hope will liberate the country from economic and political stagnation after decades of rule by former leader Robert Mugabe.

Tuesday's officials counted on the day after millions of Zimbabweans peacefully cast their votes in a lawsuit watched by international observers who have yet to announce whether the election was free and fa

The Electoral Commission Zimbabwe says it will publish the final balance within five days.

The two main contenders are President Emmerson Mnangagwa, a former deputy president, and Nelson Chamisa, a lawyer and pastor who formed a coalition of opposition groups

More than 5.5 million people were registered for election and voter turnout was 70 Percent.

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