Maputo — Although reports from much of Mozambique suggests a low turnout in Tuesday's general elections, in some polling stations in the northern cities of Nampula and Nacala, queues of voters continued right up until 18,00 when the stations were due to close.
The electoral law states that anyone in the queue at 18.00 is allowed to vote, and tickets should be distributed to people still at the polling stations at closing time. People who arrive after 18.00 should not be given tickets and should not be allowed to vote.
According to the independent coalition of independent observation bodies known as "Sala da Paz" (Peace Room), at 18.15, one polling station in Nampula (no. 03060-01) had 44 voters in the queue. Station no. 03060-03 was still catering for 15 voters and there were 19 in the queue for station no. 03060-05. There were small groups of voters (six and three people, respectively) waiting at stations nos. 03060-06 and 03060-07.
In Nacala, there were 33 people in the queue at station no. 03312-02 at about 18.30. At station no. 03312-01, the staff claimed they had no tickets to give to people in the queue. At this station, the staff threatened they would process no more voters if there were still people in the queue at 20.00 - an illegal ultimatum that was met with anger by those waiting.
Also in Nacala a Renamo polling station monitor was arrested, supposedly because he had tried to pass himself off as a Frelimo monitor.
Outside the polling centre at the Sao Vicente Secondary School in Nacala, the police fired five rounds of tear gas to disperse a crowd that had gathered in the vicinity of the polling stations.