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Get set for a tense election

The inclusion of Venâncio Mondlane on the presidential ballot paper means there will be millions of young voters motivated to ensure their votes are counted

Venâncio Mondlane addressing supporters in the city of Beira, 26 June 2024

Good evening. The presence of the charismatic opposition figure Venâncio Mondlane on the ballot in October’s presidential election creates an intriguing possibility: could he force an unprecedented second round, by denying Frelimo’s Daniel Chapo 50% of the vote? Unlike the other candidates, he has a broad base of young, enthusiastic supporters he can mobilise to vote and to observe polling stations for inevitable irregularities. But he faces an uphill battle, as Frelimo seems as determined as ever to secure victory, by fair means or foul.

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The opposition’s greatest challenge remains the 1.2 million ‘ghost voters’ registered by the National Election Commission, which Frelimo can draw on to shore up its support. Inspiring enough real voters out of their apathy to overcome the playing field tilted in Frelimo’s favour, will be a huge test of Mondlane’s skills as an orator and political organiser.

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