Maputo — Mozambique's incumbent President, Filipe Nyusi, and the ruling Frelimo Party, look set to win the general and provincial elections held on Tuesday, with over 70 per cent of the vote, according to the "Mozambique Political Process Bulletin", published by the anti-corruption NGO, the Centre for Public Integrity (CIP).
From a sample of over 2,000 polling stations, the Bulletin projects that Nyusi will win at least 70 per cent, with Ossufo Momade, the leader of the main opposition party Renamo trailing on 21 per cent. The mayor of Beira, and leader of the Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM), Daviz Simango, is projected to receive seven per cent. The fourth candidate, Mario Albino, of the Nampula-based party AMUSI (Action of the United Movement for All-Round Salvation), is likely to pick up less than one per cent.
The Bulletin estimates turnout at 55 per cent - considerably more than initial forecasts of 50 per cent.
For the first time, provincial governors are being directly elected, instead of appointed by the President of the Republic. The head of the list of whichever party wins the largest share of the vote in a province will become its governor. Renamo demanded this change in the system but seems unlikely to benefit from it.
According to the Bulletin, the Frelimo landslide means that Frelimo will win the provincial elections in nine of the ten provinces. There is still a question mark over the outcome in Zambezia.
There was more fraud this time than in any previous election, writes the Bulletin - but it did not make the difference between victory and defeat. It did, however, inflate the scale of the Frelimo victory.
The count is by no means over. The votes must now be tabulated at district, provincial and finally national level. The competing parties are entitled to observe all these stages in the count.
However, Renamo is boycotting the district tabulation, and has instructed its members not to participate in these counts. The MDM is still participating, but it remains to be seen whether its monitors will sign the minutes from these counts.
Each results sheet ("edital") is posted on the wall of the polling station and is then a public document. The Electoral Administration Technical Secretariat (STAE) had planned to collate the results sheets and publish them, as provisional results, on its website, as they come in - which is what STAE has done in previous elections.
But, according to a source in STAE, the National Elections Commission (CNE) overruled STAE. Consequently, the section headed "Results" in the STAE website says "Data undergoing processing. Please wait".