Frelimo wins elections with reduced majority
Mozambique's National Elections Commission (CNE) has officially confirmed that Filipe Nyusi, the candidate of the ruling Frelimo Party, has won the Mozambican presidential election held on 15 October with 57 per cent of the vote.
As predicted, the 55-year-old former defence minister came first in the presidential race, beating his main challengers, veteran Renamo opposition leader Afonso Dhlakama who won 36 per cent of the vote, and Daviz Simango of the Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM) who took 6 per cent.
Nyusi's result is much less than the 75 per cent share taken in 2009 by his predecessor and outgoing president Armando Guebuza, who is constitutionally barred from seeking a third term of office.
Renamo's Dhlakama improved his performance from the 16 per cent he took in 2009 while Simango of the MDM saw his share of the vote drop from the 8 per cent he secured the last time around.
In the parliamentary election, Frelimo won 55 per cent and will hold 144 seats in the new parliament, compared to 89 seats (32 per cent) for Renamo and 17 seats (8 per cent) for the MDM.
However the Frelimo win is nowhere near the party's 191 seats secured in the 2009 election, meaning it has lost the power to pass amendments to the constitution without the support of others.
Renamo increased its seats to 89 from 51, and the MDM won 17 seats, up from eight in 2009.
Out of the 15 seats in Maputo, Frelimo won 11 , Renamo won three and MDM two.
Just under half the country's 10 million voters turned up to vote for a new president and 250 parliament members, in elections which were described as "free and fair" by international observers. However this has been disputed by Renamo which filed a formal complaint with the electoral commission over what it claims were widespread irregularities and rigging.
The president-elect Nyusi has underlined the "concerns of the people" relating to "unemployment, high cost of living and the distribution of wealth." He also warned of the need to preserve peace and stability amid investors' concerns that Renamo could relaunch the two-year insurgency that ended with a recent peace deal. However Dhlakama has ruled out a return to violence, seen as a reassurance for foreign businesses keen to invest in Mozambique’s new mineral wealth.
Nyusi ran his campaign on a “continuity ticket” for the Frelimo party which has governed Mozambique since it gained independence from Portugal in 1975. He is considered a protege of Guebuza, who appointed him defence minister in 2008, and he will begin his five-year term of office following his inauguration in January.