Last Updated: 2013-12-06
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MAPUTO, Dec 6 (NNN-AIM) -- Mozambique’s National Elections Commission (CNE) has announced the final results from the municipal elections held on Nov 20, showing that the ruling Frelimo Party won both the mayoral and municipal assembly elections in 50 of 52 municipalities contested on that day.

The opposition Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM), the only other party to contest all the municipalities, increased its majority in the two cities where it already had mayors, Beira and Quelimane, and mounted a strong challenge to Frelimo in several other municipalities.

In a 53rd municipality, the northern city of Nampula, irregularities in printing the ballot papers forced the CNE to run the election again last Sunday. The MDM earlier won, but this result is not included in the figures released here Thursday by CNE Chairman Abdul Carimo.

The contest was at its closest in Zambezia province. The MDM’s Manuel de Araujo increased his majority in Quelimane, the provincial capital, from 62 per cent in a by-election in 2011 to more than 68 per cent. In Milange, on the border with Malawi, Frelimo candidate Felisberto Mvua won with slimmest of majorities, just 50.35 per cent.

The result in Gurue, in upper Zambezia Province was almost as close. Frelimo candidate Jahanquir Jussub becomes mayor on 50.49 per cent of the vote. At the polling stations only one vote separated him from his MDM rival Orlando Janeiro.

When the votes declared invalid at the polling stations were reclassified last week by the CNE, to see whether any expressed a clear choice by the voters concerned, Jussub pulled ahead, gaining an extra 80 votes. The other three Zambezia municipalities were also fairly close – Frelimo won Mocuba with 51.05 per cent, Alto Molocue with 52.06 per cent, and Maganja da Costa with 59.85 per cent.

The MDM also made a very strong showing in Maputo and the neighbouring city of Matola, long regarded as Frelimo strongholds. The mayor of Maputo, David Simango, was re-elected but saw the MDM challenger, Venancio Mondlane, cut his majority from 85.78 to 58.44 per cent. The reduction was even sharper in Matola: Frelimo candidate Calisto Cossa won with 56.53 per cent but in 2008, his predecessor as mayor, Arao Nhancale, had won 87 per cent.

In the municipal assemblies, the MDM has done much better than the former rebel movement, Renamo, did in 2008. Renamo won 189 seats in the 43 municipalities that existed then. In those same municipalities, the MDM now has 308 seats, plus 29 in the ten new municipalities. -- NNN-AIM