December 4, 2003

Opposition boycotts results of local election

While the National Elections Commission (CNE) announced the final results from the Mozambican municipal elections, all eight CNE members appointed by the main opposition party Renamo boycotted the ceremony. Hence, the CNE continued the meeting without the Renamo minority and completed its work. The results confirm the victory for the ruling Frelimo Party. Accordingly, Frelimo has an absolute majority in 29 of the 34 municipal assemblies, and its candidates were elected as mayor in 28 municipalities. Renamo candidates become mayor in just five municipalities - Beira, Nacala, Angoche, Mozambique Island and Marromeu. The politically most interesting situation is in Marromeu, on the south bank of the Zambezi, which has produced the first "cohabitation" in Mozambican politics - a Renamo mayor will have to work with a Frelimo-dominated municipal assembly. In three municipalities - Xai-Xai, Chokwe and Manjacaze, all in the southern province of Gaza - Frelimo's hegemony is so total that Renamo did not win a single seat in the municipal assemblies.

In general, the results are also regarded as a disaster for minor parties and independent groups, which were almost wiped off the political map. The minor parties and independents won just seven seats in the municipal assemblies. Five of these went to "Juntos pela Cidade" (JPC - Together for the City) in Maputo. One seat went to the "Union for Change" group in Gurue, in the central province of Zambezia, while the independent "United for the Island" group picked up a seat in Mozambique Island. Everywhere else, the municipal assemblies contain only Frelimo and Renamo members. (Agencía de Informação de Moçambique, Maputo)

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