Zimbabwe votes in first polls since Mugabe’s ouster

Jul 30, 2018, 7:15 AM EDT
Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa faces a tough rival in MDC’s Nelson Chamisa.
(Source: euronews/flickr)

Nearly 5.5 million registered voters in Zimbabwe will be heading to the polls with a renewed hope to elect a leader that can steer the country out of four decades of the economic and political rut it faced under strongman Robert Mugabe.

The polls, the first since Mugabe was ousted last year, are being overseen by hundreds of international observers to ensure free and fair voting, notes the BBC. A high turnout is expected in the election that’s likely to swing in favor of the candidate who manages to win the trust of young voters, constituting nearly half of the electors.

The contest pits incumbent President Emmerson Mnangagwa against MDC’s Nelson Chamisa, who has his sight set on becoming the state’s youngest leader at the age of 40, reports The Guardian. The election marks a “critical moment in Zimbabwe’s democratic journey,” as the country seeks an economic bailout by the international community.