Maputo — The latest provisional results from the Mozambican municipal elections held on Wednesday show an unexpectedly tight battle in the southern city of Matola, where the main opposition party, the former rebel movement Renamo is only two per cent behind the ruling Frelimo Party.
Since this tally, published by the Electoral Administration Technical Secretariat (STAE) on its website, covers less than two thirds of the polling stations, it is still possible, albeit unlikely, for Renamo to score a stunning victory in Matola. The Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM) is picking up 4.75 per cent of the Matola vote - and the figures imply that, in the future Matola municipal assembly, the two opposition parties together will outnumber Frelimo.
In Maputo city itself, only 32 per cent of the polling station results sheets have been tallied so far. But they show that Frelimo is on course for victory, and there is no way that Renamo, 20 per cent behind, can catch up.
The STAE tally in the central city of Quelimane is also incomplete - but with 50 per cent of the polling stations processed, Renamo has an unassailable lead.
In Beira, the STAE processing has now reached 86 per cent, and shows a victory for the MDM, which is in line with the MDM's own figures. Thus MDM leader Daviz Simango is on his way to a fourth term as mayor of Beira, but the MDM will not have an absolute majority in the municipal assembly, and could be outvoted by Frelimo and Renamo.
In the northern province of Nampula, Renamo is certain to win in Monapo where, with all but one of the polling stations pressed, it is more than three percentage points clear of Frelimo. In the town of Angoche, Renamo is also in the lead, but with a very slim majority over Frelimo. Since Renamo has already won in Nampula city, Nacala and Mozambique Island, it could end up in control of five of the seven municipalities in the province.
In the southern province of Gaza, traditionally a solid Frelimo stronghold, the opposition has made little dent in Frelimo's huge majorities. In the four Gaza municipalities where all the votes have been processed (Bilene, Chibuto, Chokwe and Mandlakazi), the Frelimo majority ranges between 86 and 90.4 per cent.
These results are all provisional and can be altered by the district elections commissions, in the next stage of the count, which begins on Thursday. The results will not be definitive until they have been approved by the National Elections Commission (CNE), and validated by the Constitutional Council, the highest body in matters of constitutional and electoral law.
The provisional results for the municipalities mentioned above, as given by STAE, are as follows:
Matola (64 per cent of votes processed)
Frelimo: 122,557 (48.42 per cent)
Renamo: 117,411 (46.48 per cent)
MDM: 11,519 (4.55 per cent)
Maputo City (32 per cent of votes processed)
Frelimo: 66,561 (56.02 per cent)
Renamo: 49,993 (37.31 per cent)
MDM: 6,294 (5.22 per cent)
Quelimane (50 per cent of votes processed)
Renamo: 22,517 (56.01 per cent)
Frelimo: 15,999 (39.8 per cent)
MDM: 1,429 (3.55 per cent)
Beira (86 per cent of votes processed)
MDM: 69,410 (46.06 per cent)
Frelimo: 44,380 (29.45 per cent)
Renamo: 36,345 (24.12 per cent)
Monapo (98 per cent of votes processed)
Renamo: 9,186 (49.16 per cent)
Frelimo: 8,480 (45.38 per cent)
MDM: 609 (3.26 per cent)
Angoche (71 per cent of votes processed)
Renamo: 8,112 (46.35 per cent)
Frelimo: 7,994 (45.67 per cent)
MDM: 848 (4.84 per cent)
Bilene (100 per cent of votes processed)
Frelimo: 3,876 (86 per cent)
MDM: 438 (9.72 per cent)
Renamo: 193 (4.28 per cent)
Chibuto (100 per cent of votes processed)
Frelimo: 20,922 (90.44 per cent)
Renamo: 1,145 (4.95 per cent)
MDM: 1,066 (4.61 per cent)
Chokwe (100 per cent of votes processed)
Frelimo: 22,364 (87.49 per cent)
MDM: 1,837 (7.19 per cent)
Renamo: 1,360 (5.32 per cent)
Mandlakazi (100 per cent of votes processed)
Frelimo: 9,793 (89.17 per cent)
Renamo: 787 (7.17 per cent)
MDM: 402 (3.66 per cent)