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Zimbabwe vows early poll result announcement


10:43, July 14, 2013

HARARE, July 13 (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwe's electoral commission has pledged to announce the result of the upcoming presidential election within five days.

"In respect of the five day upper limit for result announcement, we are hoping we will be able to announce the result long before August 5," Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) deputy chairperson Joice Kazembe told a briefing of observers and journalists on Saturday.

Zimbabweans will go to the polls on July 31 to choose a president, more than 200 National Assembly members, and nearly 2, 000 local councilors.

A presidential candidate must garner 51 percent of all valid votes cast to be declared the winner. If not, a run-off will be held in September, according to the ZEC.

The country's veteran president Robert Mugabe and his rival Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai are the presidential hopefuls in the upcoming polls.

In the last disputed polls in 2008, result announcement was delayed, stoking concerns about poll rigging. Mugabe won the run- off after Tsvangirai pulled out amid alleged violence against his supporters.

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