by Palmira Velasco
The main opposition party began celebrating victory after polling day, when preliminary results showed it had won in most provinces and districts, including Maputo province and the capital. Scenes of violence at polling stations began on election day during the vote count. In the majority of polling stations, the Mozambican Republic Police (PRM) was called in to intervene to expel members of opposition parties and journalists from polling stations, leaving only members of the FRELIMO party to count and fill in ballot papers in favour of the ruling party. In most polling stations, the number of ballot papers was higher than the population registered on the electoral rolls. For example, in the province of Tete, in the central region of the country, which is largely dominated by opposition parties, ballot boxes containing ballot papers were found being transported in vehicles belonging to the FRELIMO party.
This is believed to be the biggest fraud in Mozambique’s electoral history. Some members of the FRELIMO party disagree with the way in which the sixth municipal elections were conducted, leading up to the FRELIMO party’s victory. The former and first president of the CNE during the first multi-party elections held in 1994 after the General Peace Agreement (AGP) signed in 1992 between FRELIMO and RENAMO, said in a television interview that the municipal elections were marred by serious problems of fraud perpetrated by the ruling party. Other prominent figures, such as Samora Machel Júnior, son of Mozambique’s first president, Samora Machel, academics and political commentators, as well as some members of the FRELIMO party, have condemned what happened during the last local elections.
The population is still waiting for the final verdict of the Constitutional Court, the institution responsible for validating the results of the elections.