FRELIMO wins Maputo with greatly reduced majority

The Maputo City Elections Commission on Tuesday announced the results of last Wednesday’s municipal elections in the capital, showing that the incumbent mayor and candidate of the ruling Frelimo party, David Simango, has been re-elected, but with a greatly reduced majority.

The Commission chairperson, Victor Miguel, announced that Simango had won 175,186 votes, which was 58.43 per cent of the valid votes cast.

His rival from the opposition Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM), Venancio Mondlane, won 119,880 votes (39.98 per cent). A third candidate, Ismael Mussa, of the independent citizens’ group “Juntos Pela Cidade” (JPC, Together for the City) won 4,764 votes (1.5 per cent).

In the election for members of the Maputo municipal assembly, Frelimo won 56.42 per cent, the MDM 40.55 per cent, and JPC 1.37 per cent. The other 1.66 per cent was split between 10 minor parties and groups.

51 per cent of the registered electorate went to the polls. This is considerably better than the last local elections, in 2008, when only 46.64 per cent of the electorate voted.

1.2 per cent of the votes cast were blank ballots, and 1.9 per cent were invalid votes. There were fewer blank ballots than in 2008 and a similar number of invalid votes.

Although he won, Simango scored the lowest percentage vote of a Frelimo candidate ever in Maputo. When he was first elected five years ago, it was with 85.78 per cent of the vote.

Mondlane has thus done spectacularly well. His 40 per cent means that Maputo can no longer be described as a Frelimo stronghold. In 2008 the opposition candidate was Eduardo Namburete, of the former rebel movement Renamo, who only took 14.2 per cent of the vote.

But the MDM is far from satisfied with these results, and plans to lodge a protest with the National Elections Commission (CNE) against what it calls “extremely serious irregularities”.

Mondlane said that some of the results sheets had been reworked and others had disappeared, and that the MDM has documentary and audiovisual evidence of these irregularities.

He accused the police of behaving in an illegal manner notably by detaining MDM polling station monitors just before the votes were counted.

“If these elections are to be classified as free, fair and transparent, all these situations that I regard as extremely serious irregularities must be clarified”, Mondlane said.

The director of Simango’s campaign, Narciso Faduco, took a triumphalist line, declaring that Simango’s victory showed “the highly organised and structured work undertaken by members of the glorious Frelimo Party”.

As for the MDM’s protest, he said, “people react to defeats in different ways. Some deny them and others accept them. But what is important to stress in the peaceful way in which both organisations waged the election campaign”.

Post published in: Africa News

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