Mozambique opposition files suit against 'massive electoral fraud'

File: Presiding officers threatened to dump ballots at the election centre following complaints of staff shortages to capture results.

File: Mozambique's Renamo party lodged court papers calling for the election results to be annulled due to "massive electoral fraud".


MAPUTO - Mozambique's largest opposition party Renamo on Wednesday lodged court papers calling for the October 15 election results to be annulled due to "massive electoral fraud".

Renamo, the rebel group turned opposition party, lost the election to the long-ruling Frelimo party, securing under 22 percent of the vote, the electoral commission announced Sunday.

Incumbent President Filipe Nyusi. of Frelimo, won a fresh five-year term 

Having previously called for the election to be annulled, the opposition submitted an official complaint to the National Electoral Commission (CNE) to be judged by the constitutional council. 

"With this complaint we take on also all the misconduct that took place during the elections, and its evidence is well documented," Renamo's national spokesman, Venancio Mondlane told journalists outside the National Election Commission (CNE) headquarters in Maputo after submitting the complaint.

READ: Mozambique's Renamo calls for vote to be annulled

"The results of the elections are null and void." 

Renamo has accused the government of "massive electoral fraud" and breaching the country's peace deal by using violence and intimidation on voting day.

The lower courts have so far convicted 158 people over electoral misconduct, while at least 140 more are still awaiting trial.

Fourteen of those convicted were arrested for ballot-box stuffing. 

At least 58 electoral irregularity complaints, by Frelimo, Renamo and the Democratic Movement of Mozambique submitted over election fraud were rejected by the district courts in the provinces of Nampula, Maputo, Sofala, the Supreme court said this week.

Of those rejected, six cases were sent to the constitutional court to seek further judgement. 

Supreme court spokesman Pedro Nhatitima said the majority of the queries were thrown out of court because they weren't lodged within the legal deadline of 48 hours of the election results being posted.