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Harare, Monday, 30 July 2018: Polls opened on time at 07:00hrs today in most parts of Zimbabwe as the country holds the 2018 Harmonised elections to choose a President, Members of Parliament and Councilors.

The Presidential race is mainly between incumbent Head of State Emmerson Mnangangwa of the ZANU PF and Leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Alliance Nelson Chamisa.

Long lines of voters have gathered outside polling stations waiting to cast their vote. The process is going on smoothly and orderly with no major incidents recorded so far.

The COMESA Elections Observation Mission has been deployed to all ten provinces of Zimbabwe and reports indicate that the voting process is organized and electoral staff are prepared for the task. Most polling stations had all the required materials on time for the opening. Voting is expected to close at 7:00PM this evening.

COMESA Observers Head of Mission Ambassador Ashraf Gamal Rashed has visited several polling stations in Zimbabwe’s capital Harare.

“I am very impressed with the high turnout of the voters. This shows that the people of Zimbabwe want to exercise their civic duty of voting,”

“The process is orderly, peaceful and smooth. Electoral staff are helping those who require assistance and ensuring that everyone is given an opportunity to participate,” Ambassador Ashraf said while visiting the polling stations.

Over 5.6 million people have registered to vote and the country is scheduled to conduct a runoff on 8th September if neither candidate wins more than half of the votes in the first round. In total, there are 23 candidates vying for the Presidential seat.

COMESA is expected to issue a preliminary statement on their findings on 1st August 2018.

Officials results will be announced by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) by 4th August 2018.