MAPUTO, Mozambique (AP) — Mozambique’s main opposition party on Saturday rejected the ruling party’s overwhelming victory indicated by early election results and urged that the vote be re-run because of what it called widespread fraud and intimidation.
Renamo Secretary-General Andre Magibire said the partisan actions of police and election officials loyal to the ruling Frelimo party were a violation of the peace accord signed in August between the parties.
Frelimo “is clearly demonstrating that it doesn’t want peace,” Magibire said. He alleged the party was responsible for rigging and fraud. “Therefore, Renamo cannot accept this kind of election. We are asking for a repeat of the election” overseen by competent observers.
With a third of the national vote counted, results on the National Election Commission’s website showed President Filipe Nyusi in the lead with 69% and Renamo leader Ossufo Momade with 25%.
Observers have raised concerns over the credibility of the elections. Numerous irregularities have been noted including the registration of 300,000 more voters in Gaza province than its voting-age adults, according to the 2017 census.
Observers noted several incidents across the country where people were found trying to enter polling stations with extra ballots marked for Frelimo.
On Friday, the U.S. Embassy expressed “significant concerns regarding problems and irregularities” during the voting and counting which “raise questions about the integrity of these procedures and their vulnerability to possible fraudulent acts.”
The European Union’s election observation mission said “an unlevel playing field was evident throughout the campaign. The ruling party dominated the campaign in all provinces and benefited from the advantages of incumbency.”
Violence surrounding the election included a Renamo official shot dead with her husband in Tete province a day before the vote. The head of a local observer group was shot dead in Gaza province eight days before the election and four police officers were arrested.