The main opposition party in Mozambique, the Democratic Renewal of Mozambique also called Renamo, has announced suspension of its participation in peace negotiations initiated by the government to end recurrent violence in the country. Spokesman for Renamo, Andre Magibire said the party will now concentrate on electoral conflict. The moves follows several weeks of threat by the opposition and comes after the publication of local election results held on October 10. The results had announced the Frelimo ruling party as having won forty four municipalities, a decision contested by the opposition party which has also denounced fraud.
Mozambique’s Renamo opposition on Saturday accused the government of falsifying local election results in several areas, warning that such a move could prompt it to abandon peace talks. The country went to the polls on October 10 in a key test for the ongoing peace talks between the ruling Frelimo party and Renamo – negotiations which began in 2016 to end three years of violence between government troops and Renamo rebels. “We do not want war but we also do not accept any attempt to change the popular will,” Renamo’s acting leader Ossufo Momade told reporters. Although the official results have not yet been published, Renamo says the party had been cheated of victory in one major city and three other towns, accusing election officials of tampering with the results.
Mozambique holds local elections on Wednesday in a vote that could test progress in the country’s peace talks after the ruling Frelimo party was accused of violence and intimidation during the campaign. The main opposition Renamo party, which has maintained an armed wing since the end of the country’s civil war, is running in the municipal polls for the first time in 10 years. Renamo fought a brutal 16-year civil war against the Marxist-inspired Frelimo government that devastated the economy and left one million people dead. When the war ended in 1992, the group soon began participating in elections. In 2013, a wave of fresh violence erupted between Renamo rebels and government troops, raising fears of a return to civil war. But three years later, the party declared a truce and opened fresh peace talks with the government.
Mozambique opposition leader Afonso Dhlakama accused electoral officials on Monday of fabricating data to ensure a landslide victory for his rival Armando Guebuza in last week’s presidential elections. The National Electoral Commission has yet to release official results, but the Electoral Observer Group, an umbrella group of non-governmental organisations, said at the weekend that with 90 percent of the votes counted, the ruling Frelimo party’s Guebuza had an unassailable lead over his rival. If Dhlakama’s Renamo party refuses to accept the results it could stoke tensions in its strongholds in the country’s remote central and northern regions. Renamo laid down its guns in 1992, ending 16 years of often brutal conflict, but power via the ballot box has eluded it.
Mozambique’s National Elections Commission (CNE) on Tuesday rejected an appeal by the main opposition Renamo party against the results of the Oct. 15 general elections. An extraordinary session held in Maputo between Renamo and CNE, called for a vote on Tuesday for a motion to reject the Renamo appeal, resulting in 9 CNE members in favor, 6 against and 2 abstentions, CNE spokesperson, Paulo Cuinica, told reporters after the session. According to Cuinica, Renamo not only appealed against the results of the polls, but also demanded the annulment of the elections.
Mozambique’s opposition parties on Saturday rejected the victory of the ruling Frelimo party, alleging voter fraud in the southeastern African nation’s elections. Last week, election officials announced Frelimo won the election with about 57 percent of the vote. Frelimo’s victory means the party’s presidential candidate, Defense Minister Felipe Nyusi, who was relatively unknown before campaigning began, will be Mozambique’s next president. The official opposition, Renamo, which won just over a third of the vote, called for negotiations with Frelimo saying a coalition government should be formed.
Mozambique’s National Electoral Commission (CNE) has yet to officially endorse provisional results of the presidential vote. It shows governing FRELIMO party has won with about 57.2 percent and main opposition RENAMO in second place with 36 percent. The Mozambique Democratic Movement trails in third place with about 7 percent of the vote, according to Paulo Cuinica, spokesman for the electoral body. Cuinica said the provisional results could change since the electoral body is still working to confirm the outcome of the vote. “These are likely to change since the electoral commission is still working on the votes, [and] since there are no agreements from political parties over those votes,” said Cuinica. Cuinica said the CNE is waiting to confirm the official outcome of the presidential, parliamentary and provincial assemblies’ elections after resolving all complaints from the opposition parties. “The electoral commission is working hard to see if this announcement can happen [soon],” said Cuinica.
Foreign observers on Tuesday voiced concern over alleged irregularities in the counting of votes from Mozambique’s presidential and legislative polls held last week. Both the European Union and the United States government issued statements on Tuesday pointing at problems in the tallying process after last Wednesday’s polls. “Despite an orderly election day, these processes have encountered many difficulties and adversities,” the EU observer mission said. These included “faulty” handling of final result sheets from polling stations and lengthy tabulation procedures. The EU “considers that such mishaps in the tabulation process, added to the absence of official public explanations about these difficulties, hinders what has been an orderly start on election day.”
Attorneys for Mozambique’s main opposition RENAMO party are gathering evidence to launch a legal challenge of the credibility of the recently concluded presidential and parliamentary elections, citing “overwhelming” instances of voter irregularities, says Eduardo Namburete, the opposition party’s external affairs head. The electoral commission has been announcing provisional results of the general election. But RENAMO will challenge the results of the poll after the electoral body announces the final outcome, according to Namburete.
Mozambique’s main opposition party Renamo on Thursday claimed victory in the country’s election, rejecting official tallies that appeared to show the ruling Frelimo party on course for a landslide victory. “We are not accepting the results of these elections,” party spokesman Antonio Muchanga said — a move that raises the spectre of post-election violence. “We can categorically say Renamo won these elections,” Muchanga told a news conference. With nearly a quarter of the polling stations reporting on Wednesday’s vote, Frelimo candidate Filipe Nyusi looked set to become the country’s new president, having garnered 63 percent of the vote. Initial tallies showed Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama struggling to win 30 percent of the vote. But amid allegations of ballot tampering and election violence, Renamo — which fought a long civil war against formerly Marxist Frelimo — said the vote should be annulled.
Mozambicans voted Wednesday in a closely-fought test for the ruling Frelimo party, which has run the southern African country since independence from Portugal in 1975, with opposition parties crying foul. Frelimo is facing growing discontent over a wealth gap that persists despite huge mineral resources, with fast economic growth sidestepping the bulk of a population that is among the world’s poorest. But members of the two opposition parties later claimed they had discovered attempts to stuff ballots by the ruling party. “A young man was shot (in the feet). He tried to stop the Frelimo (local) secretary from stuffing boxes,” in central Sofala province, said Sandes Carmona, spokesman for the fledgling MDM opposition party. In northern Nampula province, riot police used teargas to disperse a crowd that had gathered at a polling station to watch the counting, claimed the MDM representative in the area, Elias Nquiri. Main opposition Renamo spokesman, Adriano Muchunga, claimed police opened fire in Nampula, the largest electoral province.
As Mozambique prepares to vote Wednesday, the nation has clearly progressed beyond its reputation as a war-ravaged southern African nation that struggled for decades to piece itself together. Today’s Mozambique is full of economic promise, thanks in part to huge natural gas reserves. What makes this particular national election interesting is that the clouds of Mozambique’s 16-year civil war, which ended in 1992, no longer dominate every political discussion. These days, it’s all about the economy. That is nowhere more evident than in Maputo’s central market, where election posters virtually wallpaper the market. Many sellers even wear aprons bearing the smiling face of the leading presidential candidate, Filipe Nyusi of the longtime ruling party Frelimo. The party effectively controls the capital.
Mozambique could see a new political landscape after elections on October 15. Next to the old rivals, FRELIMO and RENAMO, a new party, the MDM has gathered political strength. Jose Domingos Manuel, seems certain of a victory. His cap boasts the party logo and his t-shirt an image of the MDM’s top candidate Daviz Simango. The Democratic Movement of Mozambique (MDM) is only five years old, but it is aiming high. “Simango is the right man to lead this country,” says MDM board member Domingos Manuel. The MDM won a surprise victory in the 2013 local elections. They beat the powerful ruling FRELIMO in four major towns. Domingos Manuel thinks that the party has proven its ability to rule at least at a local level.
The Mozambican parliament on Wednesday passed unanimously amendments proposed by the main opposition party Renamo to allow vote recount in case of irregularities. The Renamo bill introduces for the first time in Mozambican electoral legislation the possibility of recounts, the state news agency AIM reported. In case of irregularities at polling stations, any candidate and the National Election Commission (CNE), together with the Constitutional Council which is the highest organ in matters of constitutional and electoral law, may demand a recount, according to the report.
Mozambicans will cast their ballots in local elections on Wednesday, amid concerns that an upsurge in political violence will mar voting. Opposition party Renamo have denied allegations they plan to disrupt the vote after months of deadly clashes between supporters and government forces. “Renamo is not a party of violence. We as Renamo party never sat down to plan any kind of violence,” a spokesperson for the party, Fernando Mazanga told AFP on the eve of the vote. Since late October guerrillas from Renamo’s military wing have been fighting a low-level insurgency against government forces in the central province of Sofala.
All the printers used to produce voter cards in Mozambique’s current voter registration are being replaced, after massive problems with the existing printers, says Mozambican news agency, AIM. Citing reports on Thursday’s issue of the “Mozambique Political Process Bulletin”, produced by AWEPA (Association of European Parliamentarians for Africa) and CIP (Centre for Public Integrity), AIM said across the country there have been problems with the computers and printers used in registration and, perhaps most embarrassing of all, some of the registration brigades have not even had toner for their printers. These problems meant that, in the largest province, Nampula, half the registration posts were not open on Wednesday.