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Mozambique: EU Flags Concern Over ‘Unlevel Playing Field’ In Tuesday’s Election

The European Union observer mission deployed in Mozambique on Thursday raised an alarm, citing unfair conditions and unjustified use of state resources by the ruling party, as well as widespread violence, reported Reuters.

The people of Mozambique voted in presidential, parliamentary and provincial polls on Tuesday after an electoral campaign marred by violence.

“An unlevel playing field was evident throughout the campaign,” the EU mission said in a statement. “The ruling party dominated the campaign in all provinces and benefited from … incumbency, including unjustified use of state resources, and more police escorts and media coverage than opponents.”

The chief EU observer Sánchez Amor said the absence of independent observers in almost half of observed polling stations did not contribute to the transparency of the process.

Responding to the accusations, Frelimo spokesman Caifadine Manasse said the EU claims were unfounded.

“Frelimo went to these elections as a governing party, but competed on equal terms with the other parties,” Manasse said.

He said the EU is acting badly in coming up with such allegations.

“We work on the ground using our means, the means of the Frelimo party and the candidate,” the spokesman added.

While final voting results are still awaited, unofficial results point to sweeping victories for the ruling Frelimo party and President Filipe Nyusi. According to the Sala da Paz consortium of Mozambican civil society organizations, Nyusi is expected to win 71% of the vote, far ahead of 21% for Ossufo Momade, leader of the Renamo opposition party. The estimated figures have been calculated based on the group’s calculations of results posted outside voting stations.

An electoral commission official said the results may start coming out on Friday as the law allows the final results to be published within 15 days of the vote. The election outcome will test a fragile peace deal between the ruling Frelimo Party and opposition rival Renamo.

Caroline Finnegan

A professionnal journalist for the past ten years, I cover global news and economic affairs for The Chief Observer.

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