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Zimbabwe ruling party wins by-elections after boycott

11 June 2015, 13:50

Harare - Zimbabwe's ruling party won all 16 seats in parliamentary by-elections, state media announced Thursday, after the main opposition boycotted the vote over allegations of a rigged electoral roll.

President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF extended its grip on power after being unopposed in several constituencies or facing little-known independents and minor opposition parties.

The constituencies voting on Wednesday included seats in the capital Harare and the second city of Bulawayo that had been held by the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) since 2000.

The MDC pulled out of the election alleging intimidation of supporters, media bias and being denied access to the electoral roll, which it claimed was stuffed with names of deceased voters.

"The ruling ZANU-PF romped to victory after sweeping all the 16 contested constituencies in yesterday's by-elections," the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation radio reported.

The elections were held after the MDC fired 14 lawmakers who formed a splinter party, and two other MPs were expelled from ZANU-PF for being aligned with former vice-president Joice Mujuru.

Mujuru was sacked by Mugabe in December after she was accused of plotting to unseat him.

Elections in Zimbabwe are usually a one-horse race for ZANU-PF, which has ruled since the country gained independence from Britain in 1980.

MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai had urged his supporters to spoil their ballot papers.

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