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An unfair election, but it could have been worse

Initial local election results suggest that only intense scrutiny has prevented a widespread theft of the vote

Today’s front pages in Maputo. Photo credit: Faizal Chauque / Zitamar News

Good afternoon. Although the full picture will not be known for a day or two yet, significant unofficial results from yesterday’s local elections are starting to come in, which we report on (see below). Ruling party Frelimo, and its campaign manager Celso Correia, will be pleased that it seems to have won control of several municipalities from main opposition party Renamo in the northern province of Nampula, a stronghold of the latter. If the current picture is confirmed, Correia, the agriculture minister in President Filipe Nyusi’s cabinet, will be in a strong position to become Frelimo’s next candidate for president.

Leader article continues below for Pro subscribers. Subscribers to the Zitamar News tier can read the full leader article here.

The latest from Zitamar News:

Renamo gets popular in the south, as Frelimo denied a landslide
Renamo’s results nationwide, if fully confirmed, will have robbed Frelimo of its ambition to deliver all 65 municipalities
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From the Zitamar Live Blog:

Zitamar Mozambique Live Blog
🗳Election update 🗳 👉 Renamo has organised a victory parade through central Maputo at 14:00 local time this afternoon after declaring that it had won the election for the city with 56% of the vote, though the official result has not been announced. Venâncio Mondlane, the head of Renamo’s list, wo…
Zitamar Mozambique Live Blog
Inflation has fallen again this month to an annual rate of 4.63%, the Bank of Mozambique said today, citing figures from national statistics institute INE. The drop in inflation was driven particularly by the prices of food and fuels, the central bank said in a post on X.

This should be enough to compensate for Frelimo’s pain at possibly losing the capital city of Maputo (although the results of that election are still unclear) and also the largest city of Matola to Renamo. Frelimo rule in these cities was not well liked, and Renamo’s head of list in Maputo, Venâncio Mondlane who may now become mayor, is popular and probably commanded a healthy personal vote. Elsewhere in the country, the results look mostly predictable, with the exception of the municipality of Vilankulo in Inhambane province, which seems, like the two big cities, to have been at least partly motivated by anti-government, anti-Frelimo sentiment.

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