President Guebuza leads early count in Mozambique elections

A day after Mozambique’s presidential and parliamentary elections, provisional results showed incumbent President Armando Guebuza and his party Frelimo poised for a clean sweep, local media reported. Results trickling in from individual polling districts around the country showed Guebuza enjoying a commanding lead over his rivals, longtime opposition leader Afonso Dhlakama and the leader of a new party, Daviz Simango.

The results had yet to be tabulated and announced by the central electoral commission.

In the parliamentary election, Frelimo was also well ahead of Dhlakama’s Renamo, a former guerrilla group which fought a 16-year civil war with Frelimo, and Simango’s Democratic Movement of Mozambique, Radio Mozambique and state Mozambique Television reported.

While no figures were yet available for turnout, participation was believed to have been high compared to 2004, when only 36 percent of the electorate voted.

Frelimo party, a former Marxist liberation movement that freed the country from Portuguese rule in 1975, has won every election since the first multi-party ballot in 1994.

In recent years the government has embraced free-market policies and the country of around 20 million people, one of the world’s poorest, has become one of Africa’s success stories.

A surge of foreign investment in gas, coal, hydropower, mineral sands and other sectors has fuelled strong gross domestic product GDP growth, which is expected to come in at over 5 per cent this year.

Some 10.3 million Mozambicans were eligible to vote for a president, 250-seat national assembly and 10 new provincial assemblies.

Simango, the popular mayor of the central port city of Beira, was contesting the presidency for the first time.

His party was barred by the electoral commission from contesting 9 of 13 constituencies in the National Assembly elections. The electoral commission, which he accused of being biased towards Frelimo, cited procedural reasons.

deutsche presse agentur


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