Mozambique’s main opposition party claimed victory in local elections on Friday in several municipalities including the capital Maputo, as unrest broke out in several parts of the country.
Some 48 million Mozambicans were registered to vote for their local leaders in 65 municipalities in the southern African country on Wednesday.
Frelimo, the country’s ruling party and liberation movement, has won every national election since the end of the civil war in 1992 and, until now, has also had control over a large majority of municipalities.
Opposition party Renamo has never won a national election in the former Portuguese colony, which became independent in 1975.
But preliminary results on Friday showed that Renamo had won more than 52 percent of the vote in Maputo, while Frelimo had won less than 40 percent, giving the opposition an unprecedented victory.
Renamo party spokesman Jose Manteigas told a press conference that his party “won in Vilanculos, Nampula and Maputo”.
He said that they believed the ruling party was “spreading misinformation about the results.”
The official results are expected to be announced in the coming days, with the electoral commission stressing on social media that citizens would need to “respect the results”.
Frelimo enjoys control of 44 municipalities, while Renamo controls eight and smaller party Democratic Movement (MDM) which split from Renamo governs one.
Several thousand people took to the streets in Maputo sporting blue T-shirts and waving party flags, led by Renamo candidate Venancio Mondlane, who has claimed victory.
A 16-year-old boy was shot and killed by police on Thursday in the district of Chiure in Cabo Delgado province.
The incident occurred when Renamo supporters came down to celebrate their victory that was emerging at the ballot box.
“A police contingent arrived at the scene to restore order,” police spokesman Mario Adolfo told a press conference in Cabo Delgado.
“Having failed to do so through peaceful means, the police were forced to fire tear gas and fired a few shots into the air to disperse the protesters,” he said.
According to the local NGO Center for Public Integrity (CIP), the police also opened fire on gatherings in several other municipalities.
Source: Macau Business