Fraud Claims Mar Crucial Elections for Mozambique

Fraud Claims Mar Crucial Elections for Mozambique
Voters produce identity documents as they go through the voting process at a polling station in Maputo, Mozambique, Oct. 15, 2014 (AP photo by Ferhat Momade).

Mozambique held elections last Wednesday, but by Thursday the main opposition party, the Mozambican National Resistance, known as Renamo, had already rejected the early results, claiming there were incidents of ballot stuffing. Despite being told by the government that a final count would be available within 72 hours of the vote, Mozambicans are still waiting for the final results nearly a week later.

The latest figures released by the government, with 51 percent of polling stations reporting, show Filipe Nyusi, the presidential candidate of the ruling Liberation Front of Mozambique, known as Frelimo, ahead with 62 percent of the vote, followed by Renamo’s Afonso Dhlakama with 31 percent and Daviz Simango of the Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM) with 7 percent. Reported results are similar for the parliamentary elections.

“Relations between the party of government Frelimo and Renamo have been poor for a number of years, deteriorating significantly since 1999 elections, when Renamo’s leader got 47.7 percent of the presidential vote and felt he could have won,” Alex Vines, head of the Africa Program at Chatham House, told World Politics Review in an interview last year. Dhlakama had been threatening to return to armed violence since 2011; in April 2013, he finally did.

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