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Polling Stations Open Across Mozambique


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Mozambique is holding elections expected to return President Armando Guebuza and his party to power.

Mr. Guebuza is running for a second, five-year term against Afonso Dhlakama of the main opposition party, Renamo, and David Simango, who leads the Democratic Movement of Mozambique.

Voters are also electing a new parliament and provincial assemblies. The president's Frelimo party currently holds 160 of the 250 seats in parliament.

Journalists Wednesday reported long lines at polling stations, and officials said early voting was orderly and peaceful.

The Frelimo party has ruled Mozambique since the country won independence from Portugal in 1975.

Renamo suffered a setback last year when Simango, the mayor of Mozambique's second-largest city, Beira, broke away to form the MDM faction.

Simango has accused Mozambique's election commission of disqualifying his party from some parliamentary contests to limit its growth as an opposition force.

The commission says it barred MDM candidates from competing in some regions because their filing papers were flawed.

These are Mozambique's fourth democratic elections since the end of a civil war in 1994. President Guebuza triumphed in the last elections five years ago with 64 percent of the vote.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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