Renamo rejects poll results

2009-01-19 08:01

Maputo - Mozambique's main opposition party Renamo said on Sunday it would not work with elected municipal authorities after electoral officials rubber-stamped results giving a landslide victory to the ruling Frelimo party.

The Constitutional Council, which deals with election disputes, on Friday validated the results in which Frelimo won overwhelmingly in 41 of the 43 municipalities in the November 19 vote.

Renamo spokesperson Fernando Mazanga told Reuters the former rebel movement would not cooperate with the authorities formed.

"We are not going to respect these results, we shall not respect anything done by the electoral bodies, democracy is not exhausted in legalisms, and there are other ways of implementing democracy", he said.

Renamo was humiliated in its stronghold city of Beira after the candidate imposed by party leader Afonso Dhlakama came a poor third.

Renamo accused the ruling Frelimo party of controlling the independent Electoral Administration Technical Secretariat (STAE), the electoral branch of the civil service which runs the electoral process, and said that therefore Renamo was cheated of its rightful mayoral posts in the 43 cities.

Dhlakama and his rebels fought a 16-year long war against the socialist Frelimo government in which 2 million people were killed and three million fled to neighbouring countries, before the 1992 Rome Peace Accord was reached to end the hostilities and usher in multiparty democracy.

Dhlakama has lost three straight presidential races to both former President Joaquim Chissano and sitting President Armando Guebuza and has alleged electoral fraud in all the polls.