Zimbabwe’s divided opposition boosting ruling party’s victory prospects

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JOHANNESBURG, June 18 (ANA) – Zimbabwe’s divided opposition could bolster the long-time ruling party’s chances of victory after failing to forge a solid coalition for the country’s first elections without Robert Mugabe, Kenya’s Daily Nation reported on Monday.

Twenty-three candidates, the highest number in the country’s election history, are in the running for the presidential race after haggling over the allocation of parliamentary seats, scuttling a plan by the opposition to form a united front in general elections due on July 30.

The main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has posed the most formidable challenge to Zanu-PF’s grip on power.

The elections will be a battle between Zanu-PF’s Emmerson Mnangagwa, 75, who succeeded Mugabe after a brief military takeover last November and Nelson Chamisa, 40, who took over as leader of the MDC following the death of opposition veteran Morgan Tsvangirai in February.

Some 5.6 million people are registered to vote in the elections.