Frelimo, the ruling party since independence, has emerged victorious in the municipal elections held on November 11. The National Electoral Commission unveiled the final results of the election on Thursday, October 26, which granted Frelimo control over 64 out of 65 municipalities. Over the past two weeks, the country has been gripped by tension as the opposition and civil society have raised concerns about widespread fraud.
Confirming earlier indications, Frelimo has dominated the electoral landscape. Only the city of Beira, located in the central part of the country, remains under the control of MDM, the third-largest political force in Mozambique. The Renamo, the principal opposition party, has been entirely sidelined on the municipal stage. Remarkably, the Renamo previously governed seven cities before the elections.
On Thursday evening, Venâncio Mondlane, the Renamo’s candidate in Maputo, decried what he referred to as “a murder of democracy” and called for a large protest on Friday to challenge the election results. The Renamo particularly claims victory in the capital and Matola, the country’s most populous city. The Mozambican Christian Council has urged political parties to refrain from descending into violence.
The president of the National Electoral Commission admitted that the centralization of votes and the tabulation process had triggered “debates within the commission.”
In a historic development for Mozambique, several local courts have nullified votes, especially in cities like Cuamba in the north and Chokwe in the far south.
The results released by the National Electoral Commission will only become final after validation by the Constitutional Council.