Zimbabwe president's party withdraws victory claim

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A ballot box is emptied in preparation to count votes after the country went to the polls, Wednesday July 31, 2013 in Harare. Posing one of the biggest threats to President Robert Mugabe's 33-year grip on power, Zimbabweans flocked to polling stations in a presidential election that will determine the course of this southern African country even as suspicions were high that vote-counting could be rigged. (AP Photo)

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — Robert Mugabe's party says it has withdrawn an unauthorized message on its Twitter feed claiming a resounding victory in Zimbabwe's national elections.

Mugabe's ZANU-PF party posted a disclaimer Thursday saying it awaited the release of results by the state election commission, the only body allowed under the law to announce the outcome of massive voting on Wednesday.

But witnesses said figures displayed outside polling stations in the Mbare township of Harare, a stronghold of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai since polls in 2002, showed Mugabe winning there.

Tsvangirai's party is claiming widespread electoral fraud. Witnesses said it won just four of 26 parliament seats in the eastern Manicaland province it had dominated.

Extra police, some in riot gear, deployed in Harare on Thursday.