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Mozambique Opposition to Present Alleged Evidence Of Vote Rigging


Mozambique's main opposition Renamo party says it will challenge official results of the October 28 general vote on Thursday.

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The evidence will try to refute the National Elections Commission (CNE), which declared President Armando Guebuza winner of the election.

Joao da Costa, chairman of CNE said incumbent Guebuza won the presidential vote with 75.46 percent, followed by the Renamo opposition candidate Afonso Dhlakama.

Daviz Simango of the newly formed Mozambique Democratic Movement finished a distant third.

But RENAMO rejected the results, claiming agents of the ruling Frelimo party stuffed ballot boxes - - a charge Frelimo denies.

Leading Renamo member Joaquim Marungo says his party will present evidence of the alleged rigging and seek that the results of the vote be annulled.

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"What we had were no elections because Frelimo is actually a player and a referee at the same time. In our electoral law which was passed in 2007, actually, we were excluded from all major decision bodies like the CNE," Marungo said.

He rejected the electoral body's verdict that the poll was credible.

"What the CNE is saying is what Frelimo tells them to say. But what the international community didn't know is that those polling station agents were actually recruited to stuff the ballot boxes. If that was not the case, why did they arrest most of our polling station watchers? That is exactly to create the opportunity for them to do the stuffing," he said.

Marungo expressed worry that the electoral body will not fully address his party's concerns.

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But Felizeberto Nice, director general of the technical secretariat of the CNE, dismissed the opposition rigging claims and insists that the election was credible.

"It is quite difficult to accept this kind of declaration because all the processes



were followed …so the process was very, very transparent and everybody was able to see what was happening," Nice said.

In the legislative vote, Frelimo also won by a landslide, capturing 191 out of the 250 parliamentary seats.

Political observers say the landslide parliamentary victory enables the ruling party to change the constitution, which they say is a significant boost for Frelimo policymaking decisions.

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