Mozambique: President Nyusi is set to be declared winner amidst opposition protests

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Mozambicans went to the poll on October 15 to elect President, governors and Members of Parliament, in elections many expected to bring a new beginning for the South East African country, which has been marred with political chaos for decades.

Preliminary results from the National Elections Commission (NEC) and the Electoral Administration Technical Secretariat (STAE) show that the incumbent Filipe Nyusi of Mozambique ruling party, the Mozambique Liberation Front known as FRELIMO is leading with 75 per cent of the votes against the main opposition candidate Ossufo Momade of Mozambican National Resistance (Renamo) party who has 20 per cent.

Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko on Monday sent his congratulatory messages to President Nyusi for the landslide victory, whereas Russia Foreign Ministry said Mozambique fruitful polls will set a conducive environment for social, economic and political development.

“Moscow welcomes the success of such an important political event in the life of Mozambique. We assume that another significant step has been made to advance Mozambican society towards political stability and social-economic development,” the ministry stated.

“The convincing support of citizens testifies to the correctness of the policy to strengthen the state and mobilize society to address pressing social and economic issues, I hope that the relations of friendship and trust between Belarus and Mozambique will help harness the potential of bilateral cooperation in various sectors,” read the message sent by President Aleksandr Lukashenko.

The election results may renew the bad blood between the government and the opposition and put the peace deal signed in August between the two parties in jeopardy. Both RENAMO and the Democratic Movement of Mozambique, have rejected the results of the poll, citing malpractices and electoral violence, asking for fresh polls. They took a swipe at the ruling party for violating the peace agreement signed prior to polls by resorting to violence to intimidate opposition supporters.

Addressing the press on Saturday RENAMO general secretary Andre Majibire said that poll stations chairpersons violated elections act by issuing more ballot papers to some voters. According to him, in other scenarios, some voters were caught with extra ballot papers marked in advance. He further alleged that RENAMO party agents who attempted to protest at fraud were blocked from accessing the stations and some arrested.

“We saw total violence characterized by the blocking and expulsion of RENAMO party monitors and the party nominated polling station staff by polling station heads with the help of the police, and the arrest of the delegates and voters when they tried to protest against ballot box stuffing,” said Majibire.

The opposition held a meeting today to discuss the way forward following the alleged hijacked elections.

By Samuel Ouma