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Mozambicans Ready to Vote Wednesday


Mozambicans are in the second day of reflection Tuesday, a day ahead of the October 28 general election.

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Twenty-nine political parties are participating in the parliamentary elections.

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

Political observers say there was a heavy use of the internet in the campaigns with the leading political parties setting up online sites to propagate their message.

VOA's Scott Bobb, who is in the Mozambican capital, Maputo to cover the election said that Mozambicans are ready to vote despite reported isolated cases of intimidation during the campaigns ahead of Wednesday's vote.

"I spoke to all three of the major parties on Saturday and Sunday and that is exactly what they said that there were some isolated incidents, intimidation, harassment…there was a case where some policemen were alleged to have done that; they were actually tried and convicted and fined and sentenced," Bobb said.

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He said Mozambicans are determined to uphold the rules governing the election.

"There seems to be a desire to observe the law. Yes there were complaints in particular over the fact that some of the opposition party candidates were prevented from becoming candidates because their papers were not in order, which the opposition alleges were due to technicalities," he said.

Bobb said the electoral body seems determined to hold a credible vote.

"One senses that the electoral commission which is composed of members of the parties themselves is trying to hold a just election," Bobb said.

He said there is excitement ahead of Wednesday's vote.

"One senses that there is a group of Mozambicans that are interested and are excited. One major reason is the advent of a new party, the Mozambican Democratic Movement led by David Simago … he is pitching himself as the advocate of youth…one sees the model of Barack Obama in his pitch and his discourse," he said.

Bobb said there are some Mozambicans uninterested in the election.

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"Among another part of the population one senses a lack of interest and apathy is likely to be high among a group of people have been suffering from the reverse economic situation…that they really haven't seen anything improving their lives over the span of these previous governments," Bobb said.

Meanwhile, analysts say incumbent President Armando Guebuza will win by a landslide despite stiff challenge from the opposition.

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