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Campaigning Ends Sunday in Mozambique Election

Campaigning Ends Sunday in Mozambique Election

Campaigning Ends Sunday in Mozambique Election

Official campaigning ends Sunday ahead of Mozambique's general election scheduled for Wednesday.

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About 29 political parties are expected to participate in the October 28 parliamentary and provisional elections with only three parties competing in the presidential vote.

In the presidential vote, main opposition RENAMO candidate Afonso Dlhakama and Daviz Simago of the new Mozambique Democratic Movement will challenge incumbent President Armando Guebuza of the ruling FRELIMO party.

Political observers say despite a stiff challenge from the opposition, the ruling party could win by a landslide.

Mozambican independent journalist Alfredo Libombo said that all the parties are making a last ditch effort to sell their message.

"Sunday is the last day of the campaigning, so all the running parties and the presidential candidates will round up all their campaign rallies," Libombo said.

He said political parties often end their campaigns with fanfare.

"It's a combination of public rallies and music festivals. So they end the campaigning in a big style, where they have famous musicians performing and to close up their campaigning," he said.

Libombo said political parties campaigned efficiently despite pockets of violence.

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"It went well. There was some violence but the way it happened it didn't affect at all the campaign itself. I think that violence is something that happens everywhere anyway in terms of people or parties that are campaigning to convince people to vote for them in the general election," Libombo said.

He said the electoral body came under criticism after refusing the parties in the decision making process ahead of the election.

"What happened in fact is that I think for the first time the National Electoral Commission excluded the parties, while in the previous elections they tried to bring in all running parties," he said.

Libombo said the electoral body made decisions based on the electoral code.

"This time allegedly because they (electoral commission) (were) following the law and they were following previous recommendations from the Constitutional Council, they excluded parties…The way they did it didn't convince the excluded parties, and this created a tension," Libombo said.

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He said there are indications the ruling party will win the vote.

"What I have seen so far is the strength of the ruling party. It has experience. It has a big machinery, and this is a very strong machinery… And you can see that the ruling party is coming up with a combination of marketing of its image and is selling out what they have done during the last five years," he said.

Opposition parties have often accused the ruling FRELIMO party of intimidating their supporters, a charge the party denies.

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