Mozambique: Opposition leaders reject early result

AP News
Posted: Oct 19, 2014 3:17 PM

MAPUTO, Mozambique (AP) — The leaders of Mozambique's opposition parties said Sunday they reject early results which show victory for the ruling Frelimo party.

The ruling Frelimo party's candidate, Filipe Nyusi, leads by 62 percent of the votes counted so far, while the opposition party Renamo has just under a third of the votes counted and the Mozambique Democratic Movement has just over 10 percent.

Vote counting is still underway.

Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama, however, believes that he is the legitimate winner of the southeast African nation's election that took place on Wednesday, 15 Oct. Dhlakama says he is willing to negotiate with Frelimo and has suggested a government of national unity, similar to that used in Kenya after post-election violence in 2009.

Renamo has alleged irregularities in four of Mozambique's 10 provinces. The Commonwealth Observer Mission endorsed the elections as free and fair, but advised Renamo to file a formal complaint.

"This cannot be treated technically. We must negotiate an outcome," said Dhlakama who said a government of national unity would prevent violence. An agreement earlier this year ended a resurgence of sporadic violence between Renamo and Frelimo supporters. The two parties fought a brutal civil war for nearly 16 years until a peace accord brought democracy to the country in 1992.

The Mozambique Democratic Movement, formed in 2009, said it would maintain peace while pursuing legal objections to the provisional result.

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"No conscious citizen in the world can state that the Mozambican elections were free and fair," said Daviz Simango, the party's leader and presidential candidate. He said in a statement that the elections were "full of irregularities" across the country.

Observers from the European Union and the 15-nation Southern African Development Community on Friday declared the election free and fair, saying that while irregularities had taken place, these were not enough to make the results illegitimate.

Mozambique's election is being watched by international investors as the winner will control recently discovered gas reserves worth billions of dollars.