HARARE, ZIMBABWE, 17 JUNE 2018 – Nominations opened Thursday for Zimbabwe’s presidential elections scheduled to be held on July 30.

The ballot will be the first since the resignation of former president Robert Mugabe.

Presidential hopefuls along with candidates for local and parliamentary elections had only until the weekend to submit paperwork qualifying them for the ballot, the first since the resignation of former President Robert Mugabe.

Mugabe was in power from the delayed independence of the country in 1980 until he was forced out of office by an insurrection within the army backed by the population in November 2017.

Emmerson Mnangagwa, 75, who was a former vice president under Mugabe, took over the office of president. Popularly known as “the crocodile” because of his political cunning, Mnangagwa, who was spy chief for Zimbabwe during the Independence War, is expected to be one of the top contenders for the ballot.

During Zimbabwe’s War of Independence, Mnangagwa

Of the several other wannabe presidents expected to run, Nelson Chamisa, of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, is thought to be the closest challenger to Mnangagwa. The 40-year-old Chamisa was first elected into parliament in 2003 a the age of 25.

The holding of successful presidential elections is expected to fasten Zimbabwe’s readmission into the community of nations after years of diplomatic and economic isolation.

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