Long queues were witnessed at various polling stations in Zimbabwe as the country conducted its first general election since long-serving ruler Robert Mugabe was ousted. Foreign observers hailed the election as an opportunity for Zimbabwe to break with its repressive past. The presidential election is expected to be a tight contest between the incumbent Emmerson Mnangagwa and his main rival Nelson Chamisa. Parliamentary and local elections have also been held. Earlier, chair of Zimbabwe electoral body Priscilla Chigumba appealed to political parties and stakeholders to uphold the rule of law and democracy while voting for their preferred candidates.
Polls have been giving Mnangagwa, who heads the ruling Zanu-PF party, a narrow lead over Chamisa, who leads the MDC Alliance. Both leaders are running for the presidency for the first time. Mugabe, who first came to power after independence in 1980, said over the weekend that he would not vote for his successor. Mugabe was forced out of office last November by Mnangagwa with the help of the military.