Opposition close ties ahead Mozambique Presidential Election in 24 hrs
On Tuesday, less than 24 hours from now, the people of Mozambique at the Southeast of Africa will throng the polls to elect their president.
Opposition members seem to be more cultivated to win this election after decades of shots at the presidency. For the first time in the country’s history, six opposition parties have signed a cooperation pact to prevent electoral fraud. These are Renamo, MDM, New Democracy, Amusi, Podemos, and the Ecologists.
The parties accused the ruling party of planning electoral “fraud”
Already presidential candidates ended their 43-days of campaign on Sunday and there are reports that polling stations at areas prone to tension might be relocated. Some of the polling stations are in northern Mozambique, marked due to an ongoing military operation against Islamist militants.
The northern Cabo Delgado province, a hub for mining and petroleum exploration, has witnessed sporadic attacks carried out by a militant group locally known as al-Shabab, it has no known links to the Somali jihadist group of the same name.
The attacks have forced villagers to flee their homes and election officials are now considering relocating the polling stations as well.
The situation in the region is considered complex and the electoral body, Secretariat for Electoral Administration, will have to wait for approval from security bodies before moving the polling stations.
President Nyusi has also condemned a recent claim by the main opposition party, Renamo, that the ruling “Frelimo brought al-Shabab to Cabo Delgado”.
President Filipe Nyusi is seeking a second term. His Frelimo party has ruled Mozambique since independence in 1975.
Ossufo Momade of the main opposition Renamo party made whistle-stop campaigns across four districts of Nampula province. He also made an appearance in his hometown, Ilha de Mocambique.
Daviz Simango of the Democratic Movement of Mozambique (MDM) rallied supporters in Beira, in the central region, his perceived stronghold.
Opposition parties said in a joint press release, we are “deeply distressed by the violence and bloody wave that characterised the election campaign…concerned about the silence of the public prosecutor’s office and the electoral administration regarding manipulation of census data and mindful of the strategy of the fraud being orchestrated by the ruling Frelimo party.”
A total of 44 people were killed in election-related incidents during the campaigns, seven murdered, and the rest in road accidents.
A prominent election observer was killed by policemen last week, in an incident that shocked the country.
In addition, 271 were injured by assault and car crashes, and at least 59 people were arrested, according to the records of the Mozambique Political Process Bulletin.
For the first time, provincial governors will be elected. The leader of the party that wins majority of seats at provincial level automatically becomes governor.
Contestants in Tuesday’s presidential elections:
There are four candidates running for the presidency and 26 parties and coalitions running for legislative and provincial elections.
Filipe Nyusi, 60, the ruling Frelimo candidate, who is seeking to remain at the Palácio da Ponta Vermelha, the official residence of the president in Maputo, after serving his first term following his victory in the 2014 elections.
Daviz Simango, 55, the MDM candidate, is running for the third time as a presidential candidate after unsuccessful bids in 2009 and 2014. In both elections, Daviz Simango, currently mayor of Beira, Mozambique’s second largest city, since 2003, finished third.
Ossufo Momade, 58, who assumed the leadership of Renamo after Afonso Dhlakama’s death in 2018, is running for the first time.
Mario Albino, 57, will run on an Amusi ticket, a party created in 2015. This is the first time the party is having a presidential candidate.