President Robert Mugabe

Zimbabwe’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has filed a legal challenge to Robert Mugabe’s victory in last week’s presidential elections.

The electoral petition seeks an order for the result to be declared null and void and a new election to be called within 60 days.

The MDC’s 15 grounds include alleged bribery, abuse of “assisted voting” and manipulation of the electoral roll.

Mugabe, 89, won with 61% of the presidential vote.

His Zanu-PF party gained a parliamentary majority of more than two-thirds, with 160 seats compared to 49 for the MDC.

The MDC is to file a complaint on the parliamentary results at a later date, reports the BBC’s Brian Hungwe in the capital, Harare.

Lawyers for the MDC, which filed its petition with the country’s supreme court, told the BBC they had “strong evidence of electoral irregularities”.

They said a shockingly high number of people were unable to vote at the polls, and that food was distributed to  Mugabe’s supporters against electoral regulations, our correspondent says.

The challenge comes after Zimbabwe’s electoral commission said nearly 305,000 voters had been turned away from polling stations on election day.

Mugabe’s margin of victory was some 940,000 votes.

A week after the election, Mugabe dismissed criticism of the polls and lashed out at Western countries for their criticism of the vote.

Zimbabwe’s constitutional court has up to 14 days to respond to the challenge.


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