Observers flag concerns over Mozambique election

MAPUTO - International observers said Mozambique's election was conducted in an "orderly manner", but expressed concerns about voter registration irregularities and "an unlevel playing field".

The southern African country voted in presidential, parliamentary and provincial polls on Tuesday after a campaign marked by violence and claims of electoral fraud.

President Filipe Nyusi's Frelimo party -- which has ruled Mozambique since independence in 1975 -- is widely expected to again beat its civil war foe Renamo, a former rebel group turned main opposition party.

READ: Tensions rise in Mozambique as vote counting under way

Election day was seen as largely peaceful, but tensions have risen with uncertainty over when the results will be released.

The final results must be published within 15 days of the vote, but the electoral commission has indicated a provisional tally  -- which had been expected on Thursday -- would not be issued.

Ignacio Sanchez Amor, leader of the European Union's OSCE observer mission, said "voting procedures were well-implemented" on election day.

However, he said the fact that there were no observers in almost half of the country's polling stations "did not contribute to the transparency of the process".

Amor added that "an unlevel playing field was evident throughout the campaign".

READ: Mozambique president praises peace after tense poll

"The ruling party dominated the campaign in all provinces and benefited from the advantages of incumbency, including use of state resources."

The Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA) said it was regrettable that irregularities in voter registration had not been addressed before the vote.

Local non-profit observer groups had reported the presence of 300,000 "ghost voters" -- names not aligned with real voters -- on the electoral roll in the southern Gaza province.

Source
AFP