I will occasionally update in the comments.
It would appear that, whatever the slow-to-come-in official results say, Mugabe and his party suffered a defeat of major proportions in Saturday’s presidential, legislative, and local elections. From The Independent:
At least nine of Mr Mugabe’s politburo, his inner circle, were out of a job according to official results posted at polling stations in their own constituencies.
As evidence emerged of what appeared to be a landslide for opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, Zimbabwe’s electoral commission â€“ Mugabe placemen all â€“ were hiding out in the capital, refusing to release results of the presidential poll.
What nobody could stop were independently verified, lawfully reported parliamentary and senate results as the count finished at each of the 9,000 polling stations nationwide. And the early results were stunning.
Provisional findings, leaked to The Independent last night by a senior source at the electoral commission, indicated that Mr Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change had taken 191 of 210 parliamentary seats, with the remainder split between the ruling Zanu-PF and the smaller MDC faction backing the ruling party defector Simba Makoni.
Were those results to be reflected in the presidential contest, as expected, it would deliver a resounding first round victory to Mr Tsvangirai,1 a former union leader, and bring down the curtain on the only president Zimbabwe has ever known.
My emphasis. For the moment at least, that there was an election is forgotten, at least if one were to rely on state media.
Throughout the day, state television ignored the most important election since independence in 1980, broadcasting a bizarre mixture of cartoons, church sermons and 1970s football matches.
The entire story is quite worth a read.
See also The Democratic Piece:
The Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) released a press statement this afternoon with the results of its Sample Based Observation… [that] show opposition candidate Morgan Tsvangirai of the MDC in the lead with 49.4% of the vote, coming out ahead of 28-year ruler Robert Mugabe with 41.8%. Simba Makoni, a recent challenger within Mugabeâ€™s Zanu-PF party, comes in a distant third with 8.2%.
- The presidency is elected by two-round majority, though legislative seats are elected by first past the post. [↩]