By shortly after midnight, the count was in from 37 of Beira’s 291 polling stations, and Simango had won 72 per cent of the vote, leaving his sole opponent, Jaime Neto of the ruling Frelimo Party, trailing on 28 per cent.
In numerical terms, Simango had won 5,383 votes and Neto only 2,141.
Simango was first elected mayor in 2003, on the ticket of the former rebel movement Renamo. In the 2008 elections, Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama refused to run Simango for a second term, despite his evident popularity in Beira. Simango then ran as an independent, and won over 61 per cent of the vote. He was then expelled from Renamo and founded the MDM the following year.
The chairperson of the Sofala Provincial Elections Commission, Samuel Malate, recognised that the count in Beira was going very slowly. This was in part due to recounts in some polling stations because of “misunderstandings”. Malate told reporters it was “better to delay things in order to avoid conflicts”.
Preliminary results from the other four Sofala municipalities indicate that Frelimo is likely to win in Dondo, Nhamatanda and Gorongosa, while the MDM is in the lead in Marromeu.Post published in: Africa News