MOSCOW. (Interfax) – Russia stands ready to further strengthen its all-round partnership and mutually beneficial cooperation with Zimbabwe following incumbent President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s victory in the August 23 elections, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
“Moscow reaffirms its unwavering commitment to further developing and strengthening its comprehensive partnership and mutually beneficial cooperation with the friendly Republic of Zimbabwe and their close interaction in international and regional issues,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement published on its website.
“The results of the vote confirm the broad support for President Mnangagwa’s policy aimed at strengthening the state system, ensuring internal stability and carrying out reforms with the aim of forming conditions for the country’s further step-by-step development on the basis of safeguarding the rights and interests of various groups and layers of Zimbabwean society,” it said.
Incumbent President Emmerson Mnangagwa won the presidential elections, receiving 52.6% of the vote, the Russian Foreign Ministry said, citing information from Zimbabwe’s Electoral Commission. Nelson Chamisa of the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change is in second place with 44% of the vote.
In the parliamentary elections, members of the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) won most of the votes, receiving 182 seats in the country’s 280-strong parliament.
The presidential, parliamentary and local elections took place in Zimbabwe on August 23. The authorities extended the vote for 24 hours due to violations recorded at a number of polling stations, media outlets said.
Opposition leader Chamisa refused to recognize the results of the presidential elections at a press conference in Harare, the media said.
Meanwhile, Putin’s Belarusian ally Lukashenko also congratulated his counterpart Emmerson Mnangagwa on his re-election.
In a statement issued by his office, Lukashenko said: “On behalf of Belarusian people and himself Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko has congratulated President of the Republic of Zimbabwe Emmerson Mnangagwa on winning re-election, BelTA learned from the press service of the Belarusian leader.”
“The electoral campaign has once again demonstrated the triumph of people’s justice in Zimbabwe,” the president of Belarus noted. “The voting results have shown significant public support for the Vision 2023 strategy and its outcomes that were achieved thanks to you and your government despite the difficult foreign policy conditions. Under your leadership, the country will certainly continue to gradually build up its economic, industrial, scientific, and cultural potential, and strengthen its positions in the international arena,” the president said.
Aleksandr Lukashenko continued: “It is gratifying to see that Belarus-Zimbabwe cooperation remains on a solid footing. This was reaffirmed during our meeting in Harare in January and during numerous visits of government delegations that took place afterward. Belarus will make every effort to advance the traditionally friendly and trust-based relations between Minsk and Harare to the level of strategic partnership.”
The president of Belarus wished Emmerson Mnangagwa good health and success in his responsible work, and the people of Zimbabwe – peace and prosperity.