Maputo — As results trickle in from across Mozambique from Tuesday's general and provincial elections, the indications are of a low turnout.
Photographs of the results sheets ("editais") posted on polling station walls, and reproduced on the Facebook page of the coalition of election observation bodies, known as the Sala da Paz (Peace Room), show that in many cases turnout was well below 50 per cent.
Thus in a station in the central city of Quelimane (code number 04008-09), out of 384 registered voters only 53 voted in the presidential election - a 14 per cent turnout. 34 of these votes were for incumbent President Filipe Nyusi, 15 for Ossufo Momade of the main opposition party, Renamo, and two for Davis Simango, leader of the Mozambique Democratic Movement, MDM. There was one blank and one invalid vote. (In the following figures, for simplicity of reading, AIM omits the small number of blank and invalid votes, and votes cast for minor candidates.)
In one station in Gurue district, in Zambezia (code 04101-01), 800 voters were registered but only 288 voted, a 36 per cent turnout. In the presidential election 162 voted for Nyusi, 54 for Momade and 54 for Simango.
In the adjoining Gurue station (code 04101-02), 291 people voted out of the 800 registered (turnout of slightly more than 36 per cent). 164 voted for Nyusi , 74 for Momade and 37 for Simango.
Also in Zambezia, at a station in Mopeia district (code 042065-02), out of 333 registered voters, only 110 cast their ballots, a turnout of about 33 per cent. In the parliamentary election, Frelimo won 75 votes, Renamo 10, and the MDM none.
In a station in Maringue, in Sofala province (code 071364-05), only 181 people voted out of the 566 registered voters, a 32 per cent turnout. In the provincial assembly election, 124 of then voted for Frelimo, 31 for Renamo and six for the MDM. In the presidential election in the same station, Nyusi took 131 votes, Momade 33 and Simango two.
In a station in Machanga district, also in Sofala (code 072639-06), of the 254 registered voters, only 85 voted, a turnout of 33.5 per cent. In the provincial assembly election, there were 48 votes for Frelimo, 15 for Renamo and 17 for the MDM.
In the parliamentary election at the same station, Frelimo won 45 votes, Renamo 15 and the MDM 11. This edital was remarkable because there were 16 minor parties standing, and none of them won a single vote.
Turnout was much better in the Sofala district of Buzi. At station 070359-02, 513 people voted out of the 800 registered (a 64 per cent turnout). In the parliamentary election, 29 votes were cast for Frelimo, 104 for Renamo and 66 for MDM.
At a second Buzi station (no. 071105-04), 345 people voted out of the 609 registered (a 57 per cent turnout). In the presidential election, Nyusi won 164 votes, Momade 74 and Simango 37.
In the northern city of Lichinga, turnout at some stations was also above 50 per cent. At station 00140-07, 335 people voted out of the 622 registered - a turnout of 54 per cent. In the provincial election, Frelimo won 239 votes, Renamo 69 and the MDM 13.
This sample of stations, however, is still too small to draw any overall conclusions about turnout.