Mozambique: FRELIMO concedes defeat in Nampula, congratulates MDM

Mozambique’s ruling Frelimo Party on Tuesday conceded defeat in Sunday’s municipal elections in the northern city of Nampula, and congratulated the opposition Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM) on its victory.

The Frelimo Central Committee Secretary for Mobilisation and Propaganda, Damiao Jose, cited in a Frelimo press release, said that the elections in Nampula “took place in an orderly fair, and transparent manner, although not many people turned out to vote” (turnout was about 26 per cent).

Frelimo conceded before the Nampula City Elections Commission had announced the official results. It was already obvious from the polling stations results sheets and the parallel count undertaken by observers that the MDM had won a sizeable victory. The preliminary results, Jose said, “show that we were not successful in this municipality”, and he congratulated the MDM’s mayoral candidate, Mahamudo Amurane.

But, addressing the Frelimo membership, Jose added “we have lost a battle, but we haven’t lost the law. So, comrades, A Luta Continua! (the struggle continues)”. “A luta continua” is one of Frelimo’s oldest slogans, but in recent years it seems to have fallen into disuse – a serious electoral defeat, the loss of the city known as “the capital of the north”, has put it back on the agenda.

Meanwhile the slow task of feeding the Nampula results sheets into the computers of the Electoral Administration Technical Secretariat (STAE) plodded slowly on, and by Tuesday evening the results from 301 of the 312 polling stations had been tabulated. There were no surprises: as at all earlier stages of the tabulation, the figures gave Amurane and the MDM a comfortable lead.

From those 301 stations, Amurane had 29,669 votes (52 per cent) against 23,243 (42 per cent) for his Frelimo opponent, Adolfo Siueia. The remaining votes were picked up by two minor candidates, Filomena Muturopa, of the Mozambique Humanitarian Party (PAHUMO), and Mario Albino of the Associaton for Moral and Civic Education in the Exploitation of Natural Resources (ASSEMONA).

In the election for the members of the municipal assembly, the MDM won 27,264 votes (51.53 per cent) from those stations, against 23,321 (44 per cent for Frelimo).

At a Maputo press conference, the MDM leader and mayor of Beira, Daviz Simango, claimed that “the people are awakening to change” and “the spokesperson for that change is the MDM”. Even electoral fraud and the violent behavior of the police “will not stop the desire of the Mozambican people for change”, he declared.

Addressing Frelimo and President Armando Guebuza, Simango said “it’s time to understand that there is no longer a place in the world for a model of governance, with the trappings of democracy, but which bases its policy on oppression of the people, without distribution of wealth and without public policies which include citizens in the progress of the country”.

“It’s time to understand that there’s no place for the dilapidation of the resources of our country to the benefit of a small group”, he added.

Simango urged Guebuza to end his term of office next year by guaranteeing general elections to choose his successor that are “fair, transparent, peaceful and respect the choices of the people”.

Post published in: Africa News

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