- The Mozambican electoral commission still has not presented the official results of the 1-2 December general elections. Today, however, new protests against the poll exercise were presented. EU observers say there were "serious irregularities" and the opposition again demanded a re-run.
According to the latest releases from the National Electoral Commission (CNE), Armando Guebuza has taken a clear lead after the results from nine out of eleven provinces have been counted. Mr Guebuza is the presidential candidate of the ruling FRELIMO party, who also was favourite to win the election before votes were cast.
Despite Mr Guebuza's status as favourite, the 1-2 December elections seem to have been marred with more irregularities favouring FRELIMO than first assumed. International election observers first hailed the poll exercise as well organised and fair, but as the closed-door tabulations have become lengthy, doubts have increased.
Election observers from the European Union (EU) today lamented what they called "serious irregularities" in the Mozambican election. On 4 December, Glenys Kinnock of the same observer group had issued "a preliminary statement" saying "Mozambicans were able to vote in a free and open manner." The tabulation process has made the European observers change their mind.
Today, the EU observer mission reported cases where more than 100 percent of voters had turned up at one polling station. Further, police officers had hindered independent observers and opposition representatives from witnessing the counting process. Despite these "serious irregularities," however, the EU observers believed that the overall will of the Mozambican population would be reflected in the final results.
This is not the belief of Alfonso Dhlakama, leader of the RENAMO opposition party and the leading challenger of the ruling party's candidate over three elections. Mr Dhlakama claims to have been cheated from winning in the 1994 and 1999 polls - an allegation that cannot be proven wrong due to lack of monitoring during the national tabulation process.
The RENAMO leader already last week termed the presidential and parliamentary election fraudulent due to "massive cote rigging." Twenty Mozambican opposition parties formally protested the poll due to proven and alleged irregularities and withdrew their observers from the counting process. They all demanded a re-run.
Today, Mr Dhlakama goes even further and says RENAMO will not take up the parliamentary seat delegated to it by the CNE, given the party's allegations of vote rigging. The party could not complain of fraud and later accept the results by taking up parliamentary seats, he said. He repeated his call for a re-run of the elections.
The Mozambican government, FRELIMO and the CNE have so far totally rejected all claims of vote rigging. The CNE says that the repeatedly delayed vote tabulation process is to produce a final result this week, after the Friday deadline was not met. Delays were due to rains and technical problems, the CNE maintained.
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