Mozambique's ruling Frelimo Party has enjoyed an easy victory in the local elections in the central town of Milange, on the border with Malawi, but on a disappointingly low turnout.
AIM was present at the counting of the votes at the polling stations on Wednesday night, and collected the results from the notices posted on the walls of all 13 polling stations.
The Frelimo candidate for mayor, Loborino Alamane, won 1,760 votes, while his sole opponent, Lourenco Impissa, of the opposition Renamo-Electoral Union coalition, won 617 votes.
In the election for the municipal assembly, Frelimo took 1,666 votes, against 563 for Renamo, and 141 for the Mozambican National Union (UNAMO).
109 votes cast in the mayoral election were considered invalid, and 105 in the assembly election. There were 82 and 96 blank ballots cast in the mayoral and assembly elections respectively.
But out of about 12,000 registered voters in Milange, only 2,573 bothered to go to the polls. No doubt this low turnout helps explain why Frelimo won in what is supposed to be an opposition stronghold. Frelimo supporters seem much more determined to vote than their Renamo counterparts.
Asked about the high level of abstention, the local director of the Electoral Administration Technical Secretariat (STAE), the electoral branch of the civil service, Neves Sinalo, said he had no idea of the causes. As far as he was concerned, a great deal of civic education had been undertaken to persuade citizens of the importance of the municipal elections.
He thought it possible that some voters did not bother to vote because they were in their fields, this being the start of the 2003/04 agricultural year. As elsewhere in the country, abstention was much higher among people who registered in 1999, than among those who registered this year.
Mozambique's ruling Frelimo party beat its main rival, the Renamo-Electoral Union coalition, by just a dozen votes, in the local elections in the town of Marromeu, on the south bank of the Zambezi river.
According to the report on Thursday morning, from the Radio Mozambique correspondent in Marromeu, the Frelimo candidate for mayor of Marromeu, Alberto Joaquim, won 1,943 votes. His sole opponent, Joao Agostinho of Renamo, won 1,931 votes.
The election for members of the municipal assembly was even close. Frelimo took 1,921 votes, and Renamo 1,914.
These figures have yet to be confirmed by the National Elections Commission (CNE). As in all other municipalities, the turnout was low.
In the Mozambican local elections, the opposition Renamo-Electoral Union coalition is heading for victory in two coastal towns in the north of the country, according to the partial results broadcast on Thursday morning by Radio Mozambique.
With results in from most of the polling stations, Renamo has scored a clear victory in the town of Angoche. Here its candidate for mayor, Alberto Assane, won 5,408 votes, while the candidate of the ruling Frelimo Party, incumbent mayor Jose Constantino won 5,001 votes. An independent candidate, Iisidro Assane won 456 votes.
In the port of Nacala, Renamo is also ahead. Its mayoral candidate, Manuel Jose dos Santos, has 2,611 votes, while his Frelimo opponent, Geraldo Caetano, who is also the incumbent mayor, has 1,806 votes. But this result is far from definitive, as there are a good number of Nacala polling stations not yet included in the radio count.
In the northernmost municipality of Mocimboa da Praia, in Cabo Delgado province, everything points to a very close result.
According to the Radio Mozambique correspondent, the Frelimo candidate for mayor, Cassimo Abdala, has 3,359 votes, but his Renamo opponent, Jaide Assane, is breathing down his neck, with 3,282 votes.
In the western city of Tete, however, Frelimo appears to be in a comfortable position. The Frelimo candidate for mayor, Cesar de Carvalho, has 7,508 votes, while the Renamo candidate, Fabiao Bjingue, has only 2,548.
In the election for the Tete municipal assembly, Frelimo leads with 6,886 votes, while Renamo has 2,541.
The picture is similar in the nearby town of Moatize. Here the Frelimo mayoral candidate, Cassiano Marcelino, has 4,560 votes, while his Renamo opponent, Lourenco Impissa, has 1,624.
For the municipal assembly, Frelimo has the majority, with 4,233 votes, while the Renamo list picked up 1,571 votes. Two minor parties standing in Moatize received a derisory number of votes.
Initial results from the Mozambican local elections held on Wednesday indicate that the ruling Frelimo party has won in the great majority of the 33 muicipalities - but on a turnout which, though better than the miserable 15 per cent achieved in the first local elections, in 1998, is still very low.
The votes are counted at the polling stations immediately after polls close, in the presence of monitors from the poitical partiues and other candidates, local and foreign observers, and any journalists who happen to be present. From the reports from its own correspondents and from those of Radio Mozambique, AIM has pieced together the following partial results. Unless otherwise stated, the results are only from some, not all, of the polling stations in each municipality.
In this item, AIM is only giving results for the mayoral elections. In all municipalities the votes for mayor were counted before the votes for the municipal assemblies. In every municipality that AIM is aware of, the results for the assemblies follow the same trend as for the mayors.
Agostinho Ntuali (Frelimo) 8,241
Mussa Incacha (Renamo) 3,391
Fabiao Namiva (Independent) 466
Montepuez (full count)
Rafael Correia (Frelimo) 8,250
Luis Culaire (Renamo) 2,805
Mocimboa da Praia
Cassimo Abdala (Frelimo) 3,359
Jaide Assane (Renamo) 3,282
Teodosio Uatata (Frelimo) 972
Maria Moreno (Renamo) 802
Castro Namuaca (Frelimo) 2,456
Luis Mecupia (Renamo) 1,660
Alberto Assane (Renamo) 5,408
Jose Constantino (Frelimo) 5,001
Isidro Assane (Independent) 456
Manuel Jose dos Santos (Renamo) 2,611
Geraldo Caetano (Frelimo) 1,806
Joao Bernardo (Frelimo) 2,045
Luis Silva (Renamo) 565
Baptista Juliao (Union for Change) 135
Rogerio Gaspar (Frelimo) 3,287
Jose Manteigas (Renamo) 1,215
Milange (full count)
Loborino Alamane (Frelimo) 1,760
Lourenco Impissa (Renamo) 617
Cesar de Carvalho (Frelimo) 7,508
Jose Caloamba (Renamo) 2,548
Cassiano Marcelino (Frelimo) 4,659
Fabiao Bjingue (Renamo) 1,624
Alberto Sarande (Frelimo) 1,155
Pedro Siavaca (Renamo) 712
Eusebio Gondiwa (Frelimo) 2,300
Verediano Manivete (Renamo) 612
Moguene Candeeiro (Frelimo) 3,549
Jose Nicolau (Renamo) 926
Marromeu (full count)
Alberto Joaquim (Frelimo) 1,943
Joao Agostinho (Renamo) 1,931
Beira (very few polling stations)
Davis Simango (Renamo) 488
Djalma Lourenco (Frelimo) 260
Manuel Cambezo (Frelimo) 6,299
Joaquim Greva (Renamo) 3,247
Matias Traquino (IPADE) 610
Lourenco Macul (Frelimo) 5.213
Francisco Manuel (Renamo) 578
Aida Chicalia (Independent) 267
Jose Pagula (IPADE) 136
Sulemane Amugi (Frelimo) 3,526
Manuel Gulucha (Renamo) 383
Alberto Chicuamba (Frelimo) 874
Antonio Cavele (Renamo) 85
Maputo (very few polling stations)
Eneas Comiche (Frelimo) 2,605
Philippe Gagnaux (Independent) 557
Artur Vilanculos (Renamo) 312
Carlos Jeque (IPADE) 56
Pedro Loforte (Independent) 26
All the above results are unofficial, and require confirmation by the National Elections Commission. AIM does not possess results from the other 11 municipalities.
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