Mozambique - 02

Mozambique: MDM Gains Ground In Uneventful Municipal Elections

Despite early indications of a tense and possibly violent election, the 20 November municipal polls passed largely without incident. Notably, fears that the main opposition party Renamo, which had boycotted the polls, might interfere, were alleviated when a party spokesperson, Fernando Mazanga, stated that there was no need to cause problems at the polls. Ominously, the reasons given for not interfering were that the party believes the elections to be largely invalid, and therefore not worth disrupting.

Although fears of widespread unrest appear to have been unfounded, the elections were not free from violence. Four days before the polls were to be held, for example, the Mozambican riot police (FIR) clashed with supporters of the Democratic Movement of Mozambique (MDM) opposition party at a campaign-closing event in Beira. Local reports suggest that these clashes were spurred on when a vehicle from the ruling Frelimo party attempted to cross through the campaign event.

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