Maputo — Nampula (Mozambique), 11 Oct (AIM) - Mozambique's main opposition party, the former rebel movement Renamo, is set to win at least three of the seven municipalities in the northern province of Nampula, according to a parallel count undertaken by Radio Mozambique journalists of the polling station results sheets from Wednesday's municipal elections.
In the provincial capital, Nampula city, in 198 of the 456 polling stations Renamo had established an unassailable lead, with more than twice as many votes as the ruling Frelimo Party.
Nampula was won by the second opposition party, the Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM), in the 2013 municipal elections. But the assassination of the mayor, Mahamudo Amurane, in October 2017, forced a by-election, which was won by the Renamo candidate, Paulo Vahanle. Wednesday's results should see Vahanle installed as Nampula mayor for another five years.
Despite a vigorous campaign waged by the MDM mayoral candidate, and prominent parliamentary deputy, Fernando Bismarque, the MDM, far from recapturing the city, lagged in third position.
In the port of Nacala, the results sheets from 24 of the 195 polling stations show Renamo outpolling Frelimo and the MDM, while a full count of the 47 polling stations on Mozambique Island gave Renamo a comfortable victory.
Renamo once controlled the Nacala and Mozambique Island municipalities. It won them in the 2003 municipal elections, but then lost them to Frelimo again in 2008. They remained under Frelimo control in 2013, because Renamo boycotted the municipal elections of that year.
In Monapo, with 21 of the 63 polling stations counted, there is almost a dead heat between Frelimo and Renamo, while in Ribaue, with all results sheets counted, Frelimo beat Renamo by a few hundred votes.
The provisional results from these five Nampula municipalities are as follows:
Nampula City (198 out of 456 polling stations)
Nacala (24 out of 195 polling stations)
Mozambique Island (all 47 polling stations)
Ribaue (all 35 polling stations)
Monapo (21 out of 63 polling stations)