Zimbabwe delays the elections

Elections in Zimbabwe have seen delays as President Emmerson Mnangagwa seeks a second and final term in a country with a history of violent and disputed elections. This is the second general election since longtime ruler Robert Mugabe was overthrown in a 2017 coup.

Twelve presidential candidates are taking part in the ballot, but the main competition is expected to be between 80-year-old Mnangagwa, known as “the Crocodile”, and 45-year-old opposition leader Nelson Chamisa. Mnangagwa narrowly defeated Chamisa in a disputed election in 2018.

Chamisa hopes to break the ruling Zimbabwe African Union/Patriotic Front party’s 43-year hold on power. Zimbabwe has only had two leaders since it gained independence from white minority rule in 1980.

Parliament composition

A run-off election is scheduled for October 2 if no candidate obtains a clear majority in the first round. The elections will also determine the composition of the 350-seat parliament and about 2,000 local council positions.

“Surviving in this country has become more and more difficult,” said Basil Chindampoya, an early voter in the working-class town of Harare. “I hope for a change. This is the third time that I vote and I strongly pray that my vote this time will be important.

Mineral resources

The southern African country of 15 million people is endowed with vast mineral resources, including Africa’s largest reserves of lithium, a key ingredient in electric vehicle batteries.

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