HARARE, Zimbabwe – Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa and main challenger Nelson Chamisa will make one final rally ahead of Monday's elections in a country that has been making economic and political advances for decades
The vote will be a premiere for the South African nation: longtime leader Robert Mugabe will not stand for election after his resignation in November after a military takeover and pressure from the ruling ZANU-PF party that once supported him. The majority of the 5 million Zimbabwean constituents grew up under Mugabe's 37-year rule.
Supporter of 75-year-old Mnangagwa, a former Mugabe MP, and 40-year-old Chamisa, leader of the opposition MDC party (19659008) In an interview with The Associated Press on Friday, Chamisa claimed that Zimbabwe's electoral commission was in favor of Mnangagwa prejudiced what the President and the Commission dispute. Chamisa vowed to hold peaceful protests if the election is flawed.
A credible vote could help Zimbabwe lose its long-standing status as a global pariah and encourage recovery for its collapsed economy, while a controversial election would prevent the lifting of international years Sanctions
Earlier Mugabe elections were driven by violence and intimidation against the opposition and alleged election fraud. Foreign observers were shunned.
Dozens of foreign observers are now spreading across the country, including teams from the United States, the European Union, the Commonwealth, and the African Union.
"We are aware of the issues that existed, but we hope the elections will be free and fair," US Sen. Jeff Flake told reporters Saturday.
When asked if Mnangagwa is better than Mugabe, Flake replied, "No comment, that's pretty low-bar."
Mnangagwa itself remains under US sanctions.
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