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Last Updated: Saturday, 2 April, 2005, 21:04 GMT 22:04 UK
Mugabe party wins crucial victory
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe
Mugabe has said he wants to change the constitution
Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu-PF party has won Thursday's general elections, according to final official results.

The outcome gives the party a two-thirds parliamentary majority that enables President Robert Mugabe to amend the constitution.

Mr Mugabe said it was a moment of great joy - but the opposition has accused his party of fixing the ballot.

Election observers from southern Africa have postponed their statement on the fairness of the election.

They are reported to have said this was in order to investigate a number of discrepancies.

But the South African observer mission has said the vote reflected the will of the people.

Strike call

Zanu-PF won 78 of the 120 contested seats, according to final results issued by the chief election officer.

FINAL RESULTS
Ballot boxes already counted in Zimbabwe
Zanu-PF: 78 seats
MDC: 41 seats
Independent: 1 seat
Elected seats: 120 seats
Seats appointed by the president: 30

The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) picked up 41 seats and an independent candidate won one.

Under Zimbabwean law, Mr Mugabe has the power to appoint another 30 MPs in the 150-seat chamber, giving Zanu-PF a two-thirds majority.

"This is a moment of victory for my party and the victory of my party translates itself, naturally, into a victory for our country," the 81-year-old president said.

The MDC has dismissed the poll as a fraud, citing evidence of ballot stuffing and highlighting flaws in the electoral system.

Party leader Morgan Tsvangirai the results did not reflect "the will of the people".

Another senior MDC member said the party had decided to call a one-day national strike in protest - although the date has yet to be decided.

Britain, America, human rights groups and other observers, have said the election was not free and fair.

Postponement

Election monitors from the Southern African Development Community ( SADC) were due to report on Saturday.

But they reportedly postponed their announcement, saying there are major queries over a quarter of the polling stations and they further investigation are needed.

Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa told the BBC's Focus on Africa programme that he rejected claims that the election was "flawed".

"These were the most free and fair elections in the world," he said.

In 2000, Zanu-PF won a majority of seats but fell short of a two-thirds majority which allows the constitution to be changed.

Mr Mugabe has long said he wanted to amend the constitution to establish a second parliamentary chamber.

Critics accuse him of wanting to pack the chamber with his own supporters to extend his influence after he retires.


BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
See the scenes in Zimbabwe as Mugabe's Zanu-PF wins again



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