Incumbent Emmerson Mnangagwa has won Zimbabwe’s disputed presidential poll, according to the country’s electoral commission.
With all 10 provinces declared, the current president and Zanu-PF leader gained 2.46 million votes (50.8%) against 2.15 million (44.3%) for opposition leader Nelson Chamisa.
The election is the first since dictator Robert Mugabe resigned last year following a coup, ending 30 years of leadership.
Both sides in the election had claimed victory before the official announcement, with the aftermath of polling day on Monday marred by deadly protests and clashes that have left six people dead and 14 injured.
Thank you Zimbabwe!
I am humbled to be elected President of the Second Republic of Zimbabwe.
Though we may have been divided at the polls, we are united in our dreams.
This is a new beginning. Let us join hands, in peace, unity & love, & together build a new Zimbabwe for all! pic.twitter.com/FbdrixAktR
— President of Zimbabwe (@edmnangagwa) August 2, 2018
Zimbabwe’s opposition party, MDC, rejected the result, with spokesman Morgan Komichi rushing onto the official results announcement stage and saying the count was “fake” because the results “have not been verified by us”.
He was then removed by police at the venue in Harare.
Tweeting after the result was announced, Mr Mnangagwa said he was “humbled” to have won, adding that although there was division at the polls “we are united in our dreams”.
Violence surrounding the election has seen the military sweep in and use live rounds to disperse protests over alleged vote rigging.
Elections meant to restore trust in Zimbabwe after decades of Mugabe rule have instead seen familiar scenes of violence and claims of vote rigging.
There were conflicting accounts as to who was responsible for the bloodshed in the capital Harare, which followed opposition protests after it was announced Zanu-PF had won a majority in parliament.
Mr Mnangagwa blamed the Movement for Democratic Change, saying “it is not entirely true protesters were not armed”.
Mr Chamisa, a lawyer and pastor, blamed Zimbabwe’s “violent government”, saying: “We have unarmed civilians being attacked. Is that normal even in a banana republic?”
International election observers earlier called for the result of the presidential vote to be released as soon as possible to ease tensions, saying delays will add to any speculation the result was manipulated.
A credible vote is seen as paramount if international sanctions imposed during the Mugabe era are to be lifted, giving Zimbabwe’s moribund economy the chance to recover in the process.