August 2, 2018 10:09 AM NPT
ZIMBABWE, Aug 2: At least three people died in Zimbabwe on Wednesday after political protests bubbled into violence, The Associated Press reports.
Zimbabweans voted for a new president Monday, but demonstrators say that the longtime ruling party rigged the election to keep incumbent Emmerson Mnangagwa in office. Riot police arrived in Harare, the nation's capital, to tamp down on protests, facing off against hundreds of opposition supporters who reportedly begged them not to "direct the politics with guns." Armed troops and security forces clashed with protesters for much of the day, with police dispersing crowds on the grounds of property destruction and illegal public gathering.
The official election results have not yet been announced, but officials said the ruling party was on track for a landslide win, reports NPR. Outside observers urged Zimbabwe's leaders to release the results as quickly as possible to avoid more "volatility," reports AP, but the election commission has said it won't make an announcement until "sometime tomorrow."
Mnangagwa, who took over for ousted president Robert Mugabe last year, blamed the protesters for the outburst of violence in the nation's capital, accusing opposition supporters of attempting to "disrupt the electoral process."