(16 Oct 2019) Mozambique turned to vote-counting on Tuesday in an election that tests a wary peace in the African nation of nearly 30 million people, while scattered incidents of ballot-stuffing were reported and observers in several provinces were restricted from doing their work.
Acceptance of the presidential, parliamentary and provincial election results will be a key test of the ceasefire signed in August between the government and opposition Renamo rebels after years of skirmishes following a 15-year civil war that killed an estimated 1 million people.
The ruling Frelimo party, which has governed since Mozambique’s independence from Portugal in 1975, is expected to be returned to power, with President Filipe Nyusi expected to win a second term.
During Tuesday’s voting, Mozambique’s Center for Public Integrity noted incidents of pre-marked ballots and late-opening voting.
Borges Nhamire, coordinator of the centre’s Electoral Observation Programme, told The Associated Press that some voters had turned up polling stations to discover that their names were not on the voting cards.
There were also reports of unrest in Zambezia, Inhambane and Manica provinces, a representative of the Electoral Transparency Platform said at a news conference in Maputo.
Some 13 million Mozambicans were registered to vote, with preliminary results expected Wednesday, and full provisional results before the end of the week.
A runoff will be held if no presidential candidate wins a majority.
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