Maputo — Former Prime Minister Luisa Diogo, the only women among the five people who competed on Saturday to become the presidential candidate of Mozambique's ruling Frelimo Party, told reporters that she had done her best to win.
She forced the election into a second round. On the first round, the winner, Defence Minister Filipe Nyussi, had 49 per cent of the vote - below the 50 per cent plus one required for vctory. The three candidates with fewest votes were knocked out, and on trhe second round Nyussi took 135 votes (68 per cent) to 61 (31 per cent) for Diogo.
“For my part, I did what the women asked me to do”, Diogo told Radio Mozambique. “I tried to do my best, but it wasn't possible to win”.
Nonetheless, for the first time in history a woman had stood to become the Frelimo candidate, and had made a strong enough showing to ensure that Nyussi could not win outright, but had to face her in a second round.
“As a woman, I think we've made a good start, and this will go down in Frelimo history. Not in letters of gold, but in letters of silver”, she said. “We hope that next time another generation of women will also try its luck”.
Another former prime minister, Aires Ali, who was knocked out in the first round, said that the election was “transparent, and surrounded with a lot of joy”.
“I think the choice was perfectly good”, added Ali. “The festivities you can see right now show there's great internal confidence in Frelimo. We must believe that the choice was good, and now let's get down to work, because he's our candidate, the candidate of all of us”.