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.
“Electoral authorities were incompetent and fabricated election (results), mainly in the centre and north of the country,” Dhlakama told a news conference in Maputo.
He blamed a low voter turnout – only 30 percent of the 9,1 million registered voters are believed to have cast their ballots – on a change in electoral registers and polling stations that left some with many kilometres (miles) to walk.
“I don’t want to win the elections by force, but I demand justice and transparency. My party and I are ready to accept defeat and support the winner if the results are not fabricated,” Dhlakama added.
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