Independent election observers say recounts by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission of ballots cast March 29 in 23 constituencies are tending to confirm the counts made immediately following the elections, raising questions as to the need for recounts.
Two recounts have been completed, and ZEC Deputy Chief Elections Officer Utloile Silaigwana was quoted by the government-controlled Herald newspaper as saying that the remaining 21 should be completed by the weekend.
Where house seats are concerned, the recounts completed so far have confirmed one victory each for the ZANU-PF party of President Robert Mugabe and for the Movement for Democratic Change of Morgan Tsvangirai.
Though the opposition sought recounts of its own in the immediate election aftermath, it has charged that these 23 recounts are illegal as they were initiated after the legal time limit had expired for challenges to the election outcome.
Zimbabwe Election Support Network Chairman Noel Kututwa told reporter Carole Gombakomba of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that it is puzzling that the recounts continue amid irregularities of process yet are confirming the initial counts.
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