Mozambique Declares Frelimo’s Nyusi Winner of Presidential Vote

Mozambique’s next president will be ruling party candidate Filipe Nyusi, according to official results announced by the country’s National Electoral Commission today in the capital, Maputo.

Nyusi, a former defense minister from the ruling Front for the Liberation of Mozambique, or Frelimo, won 57.03 percent of the Oct. 15 vote, the CNE said at a press conference.

Main opposition party, the Mozambique National Resistance, or Renamo, said Oct. 28 it was the rightful winner of the elections and won’t accept any other result. Its candidate Afonso Dhlakama got 36.61 percent of the official count.

Frelimo remains the largest party in the parliament, according to results of elections for the legislature, held alongside the presidential vote. The ruling party will have 144 seats in the 250-seat assembly, with the opposition made up of 89 Renamo deputies and 17 from the Mozambique Democratic Movement. The result represents a reduced majority for Frelimo, which at the last elections in 2009 won 191 seats to Renamo’s 51 and MDM’s eight. The MDM’s Daviz Simango won 6.36 percent of the presidential vote.

Nyusi now has a five-year term at the helm of a country undergoing an economic transformation, with as much as $115 billion in projected fiscal revenue from gas exports to 2040, according to estimates published last month by the International Energy Agency. The three major parties all promised a more equitable division of the country’s resource wealth among the population during their election campaigns.

Rejected Results

The Oct. 28 declaration from Renamo said the party will not accept any result that doesn’t hand Dhlakama the presidency and Renamo a majority in parliament. According to Renamo’s calculations, the party won 139 seats and Dhlakama 80 percent of the presidential vote.

“Renamo has rejected every election result over the last 20 years and keeps true to form,” Alex Vines, head of the Africa program at London-based international affairs think tank Chatham House, said in e-mailed comments yesterday. “Although there have again been problems in the electoral process, nobody except Renamo claim it decisively changes the results.”

Nyusi will succeed President Armando Guebuza, who’s stepping down after serving a maximum two terms. A trained mechanical engineer, Nyusi, 55, was executive director of the country’s northern railways before being appointed defense minister in 2008.

Frelimo has ruled the southeast African nation of 26 million people since independence from Portugal in 1975. It fought a 17-year civil war with Renamo, which ended in 1992. Hostilities resumed in 2012 and ended last month after the government agreed to electoral reforms and to integrate Renamo fighters into the defense force.

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