Mozambique’s ruling party wins presidential race

2014-10-25 09:49

Maputo – The ruling party candidate for president in Mozambique has won the election with about 57% of the vote, elections officials said.

Filipe Nyusi, Mozambique’s defence minister, won the race and was followed by the leader of the main opposition party, Afonso Dhlakama, with 36% and Daviz Simango of the Mozambique Democratic Movement, a newer opposition group, with 7%, the National Elections Commission said yesterday.

The results from the October 15 elections in the southern African nation must be ratified by the constitutional court, which handles electoral matters. The two opposition leaders say they reject the results, alleging irregularities.

Nyusi was the candidate for Frelimo, the ruling party that fought a civil war against Dhlakama’s group, known as Renamo. The two groups signed a peace deal in 1992 and have competed against each other as political parties since then.

Tensions and sporadic violence erupted again in the past couple of years between Renamo and Frelimo supporters, but the election was largely peaceful despite the scattered allegations of vote-rigging. Observer missions said these incidents had not disrupted the election.

Nyusi was a relatively unknown figure in politics, but he won a highly contested party election thanks to the backing of outgoing President Armando Guebuza and wealthy businessmen from the recently enriched north of the country, where Nyusi was born.

The election was closely watched by foreign investors who see prospects in Mozambique’s vast energy reserves.

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