from ARIMANDO DOMINGOS in Maputo, Mozambique
MAPUTO, (CAJ News) – THE Commonwealth Observer Group (COG) believes allegations of intimidation leveled against rival parties in the just-concluded election in Mozambique are credible.
Tensions have gripped the Southern African country with the ruling Front for the Liberation of Mozambique and the Mozambique National Resistance (RENAMO) both accused of the infringements.
Such allegations have emerged from the provinces of Nampula and Zambézia.
COG said its observers were “witnesses to occurrences that gave credence to some of these allegations.”
Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka, the COG chairperson, who is also former Kenyan Vice-President, pledged to give more detail on the accusations in the group’s final report.
It could not be ascertained when this would be released.
The Mozambique National Electoral Commission (CNE) is yet to release results of the poll seen as a two-horse race between old-time nemesis FRELIMO and RENAMO, which nonetheless signed a historic peace pact in August.
The parties’ Filipe Nyusi (60), who is tipped to retain power, and Ossufo Momade (58) are the front-runners for the presidential poll.
Musyoka has encouraged aggrieved parties to use appropriate legal channels to pursue all grievances in order to ensure thorough investigations.
In the COG’s preliminary statement, Musyoka said on Election Day, polling stations generally opened on time.
“They were equipped with requisite polling staff and materials. Although there were some variations in the lay-out outlined in the training manual for polling officials, the secrecy of the vote was not compromised. The procedures for the opening of the polls were followed.”
Members of the COG were deployed to observe the provinces of Gaza, Maputo, Nampula, Sofala and Zambézia.
– CAJ News