Big drop in support for Frelimo in Moz election

2014-10-31 08:18
Mozambican ruling party Mozambique Liberation Front's  presidential candidate Filipe Nyusi at a polling station in Maputo. (Gianluigi Guercia, AFP)

Mozambican ruling party Mozambique Liberation Front's presidential candidate Filipe Nyusi at a polling station in Maputo. (Gianluigi Guercia, AFP)

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Maputo - Mozambique's ruling party Frelimo won the 15 October elections, though with a reduced majority, the national electoral commission announced on Thursday.

Frelimo candidate Filipe Nyusi won the presidential election with 57.3% of the vote, down from the 75% taken by his predecessor Armando Guebuza in 2009.

Afonso Dhlakama, the candidate of Frelimo's historic opponent Renamo, improved his performance to 36.6% from 16.5% in 2009. Daviz Simango from the Democratic Movement of Mozambique (MDM) saw his share of the vote drop to 6.4% from 8.6%.

In the simultaneous parliamentary elections, Frelimo won 144 seats, down from 191 seats in the previous parliament. Renamo increased its number of seats to 89 from 51 and the MDM to 17 seats from eight seats.

Voter turnout was estimated at about 49%.

Free and fair

"The electoral process has been free and fair despite some irregularities detected here and there, but not enough to discredit the overall drive," Frelimo representative Veronica Macamo said.

But Renamo representative Andre Magibire said the elections were fraught with irregularities and that his party had filed a formal complaint with the electoral commission.

Nyusi stressed the need to preserve peace and stability amid concern that Renamo could relaunch its two-year low-level insurgency that ended with a peace deal in August.

"I take with me all the concerns of the people expressed during the rallies related to unemployment, the high cost of living and the distribution of wealth," said the president-elect, who had served as defence minister from 2008 until the elections.

The former independence movement Frelimo has governed Mozambique since its independence from Portugal in 1975. Renamo is a former anti-communist movement that waged a 16-year civil war against the initially Marxist Frelimo.

A 1993 peace deal turned Renamo into the biggest opposition party.

In 2012, Dhlakama launched a campaign of highway ambushes and attacks against police stations, accusing Frelimo of excluding the opposition from economic power.

Poverty remains widespread in Mozambique despite the economy growing at a rate of about 7% annually as offshore gas finds fuel an investment boom.

Read more on:    frelimo  |  renamo  |  filipe nyusi  |  mozambique  |  southern africa  |  mozambique elections 2014

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