Good afternoon. Fierce clashes in Beira between supporters of ruling party Frelimo and opposition party MDM on Sunday may foreshadow a particularly vicious round of local elections in October. These are likely to be mired by widespread (and plausible) allegations of vote rigging in favour of Frelimo.
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Tensions in Beira are especially fraught as Frelimo has named the city, held by MDM for two decades, as one of its principal targets in the upcoming elections. With both sides desperate for victory, the street brawls which erupted over the weekend indicate that party activists are not afraid to get physical with their opponents, which may translate into coercing the electorate and manipulating the vote on polling day.