Frelimo wins Mozambique elections

President-elect Filipe Nyusi

Mozambique’s ruling Frelimo party and its presidential candidate Filipe Nyusi have won the country’s general elections held mid-October, according to provisional results announced on October 24.
The results show Nyusi winning 57 percent of the vote, trailed by the main opposition Renamo party’s Afonso Dhlakama with 36 percent, while the Mozambique Democratic Movement’s Daviz Simango was far behind in third place.
The Frelimo party also kept its majority in the 250-seat parliament, although results will not be official until they are ratified by the Constitutional Court.
Renamo called the initial results fraudulent. The party has said Frelimo rigged the election through ballot box stuffing and intimidation of voters.
However, the observer mission of the Southern African Development Community has said that the elections were ‘peaceful, transparent, free and fair and credible.’
Mozambique’s presidential candidates were competing to succeed President Armando Guebuza, who is constitutionally barred from seeking a third term. Nyusi, 55, an engineer and veteran administrator of Mozambique’s state railways, was selected by the ruling party as its candidate to succeed President Armando Guebuza, who is barred by the constitution from serving a third term.
The election has been closely watched by investors who see opportunities in recent large discoveries of coal and natural gas.
Frelimo has ruled the southern African country since independence in 1975. Renamo accuses the party of monopolizing political and economic power. A former Portuguese colony located on southern Africa’s Indian Ocean coast, Mozambique is still one of the world’s least-developed nations but is starting to tap huge coal and natural gas deposits with foreign investors.
Mozambique is hoping revenue from its large natural gas deposits and its fledgling coal mining and export industry will help it emerge from years of poverty and aid dependence. According to a Reuters report, Mozambique has opened up 15 new offshore and onshore areas for gas and oil exploration and production in its north, centre and south.
The blocks on offer in the latest licensing round launched in Maputo and London late October included three new areas of the northern Rovuma Basin, where US oil major Anadarko Petroleum Corp and Italy’s Eni are already developing multi-billion-dollar liquefied natural gas (LNG) export projects.

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