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.
“For Renamo, it is not a question of winning, it’s a question of justice, transparency and the principles of real democracy,” said Muchanga.
The former guerrillas have claimed that all past elections have been stolen by Frelimo, which has been in power since independence from Portugal in 1975.
Renamo, which waged a 16-year war until signing a peace deal in 1992, ended a recently renewed low-level insurgency in the centre of the country just weeks ahead of the election.
Part of the deal to end the latest conflict involved disarming Renamo fighters. But that process was due to kick off only after the elections, raising fears of fresh violence.