Renamo slams Moz elections

2004-12-04 10:52

Maputo - The former rebel organisation Mozambique National Resistance (Renamo) on Friday claimed there were gross irregularities during elections on Wednesday and Thursday to choose a successor to long-serving president Joaquim Chissano.

"The voting process was full of gross irregularities," Renamo spokesperson Eduardo Namburete told reporters as partial results from polling stations started trickling in.

He said: "For instance, about 37 000 people were denied the right to vote because the polling stations simply failed to open and also because a lot of people could not find their names on the registers."

Namburete said most irregularities occurred in areas where Renamo enjoyed its strongest support.

Role of foreign observers

He said "This is not fair." Namburete also expressed concerned at the early departure of some foreign observers, saying an election was not over until the final tabulation of results.

He asked: "How are they going to issue a correct opinion over the process if they are leaving?"

Over 400 foreign observers, including former US president Jimmy Carter, have monitored Mozambique's third presidential and legislative elections since independence together with more than 1 000 local observers.

Partial results compiled by state radio journalists scattered throughout the 11 constituencies indicate a comfortable lead by the ruling Mozambique Liberation Front (Frelimo) and its presidential candidate Armando Guebuza.

'Figures represents nothing'

Namburete dismissed the results, saying they were only from urban areas where Frelimo and the wealthy businessman are most popular.

He said "The information being carried by Radio Mozambique only lead to a false impression that Guebuza and Frelimo have won the elections.

"These figures do not represent even 50% of the country."

Reports from polling stations are now being transported to the provincial capitals for computer processing before being channelled to the central office of the National Elections Commission in the capital Maputo.