Polls open in Mozambique

2009-10-28 08:25

Maputo - Mozambique polls opened on Wednesday for the southern African country's fourth national elections since the introduction of multi-party democracy in 1994.

The presidential, parliamentary and provincial elections are widely expected to be won by ruling party Frelimo and incumbent President Armando Guebuza.

Frelimo, which has ruled Mozambique since independence from Portugal in 1975, will be helped along by a recent split in long-time opposition movement Renamo, which saw the breakaway Democratic Movement of Mozambique form in March.

Seventeen political parties and two coalitions are competing for ballots from Mozambique's almost 10 million registered voters.

"It is important to vote because it is to decide the future of the country, to give my opinion about how I want the future of the country to be," said Vasco Munguambe who had been waiting outside a Maputo station.

Early results from the more than 12 000 polling stations are expected to trickle in after the closing of voter stations on Wednesday evening.