Mozambique court confirms ruling party won election

Mozambique's electoral body on Tuesday confirmed the ruling Frelimo party's candidate Filipe Nyusi had won October's presidential election, as the opposition still refused to accept defeat.

Former defence minister Nyusi took 57 percent of the vote in the southern African nation, said the Constitutional Council -- sharply down from the party's 75 percent victory in the previous presidential election in 2009.

Nyusi's nearest rival, Afonso Dhlakama of the former rebel party Renamo, won 37 percent -- more than double the 16 percent he won in 2009.

Frelimo also took the majority of seats in the 250-member parliament, winning 144 to Renamo's 89. The Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM), a newcomer to the political scene, won 17 seats.

Constitutional Council president Hermenegildo Gamito called for a fundamental review of the electoral system, pointing at legal complexities and irregularities from the polls.

The validation was the final stage of the election process, clearing the way for Nyusi's inauguration in the first quarter of 2015.

But a Renamo representative said they still did not recognize the results as the elections had not been not credible.

"The Frelimo candidate is not able to form a government because he has not won the election and does not represent the will of the majority of the Mozambican people," Andre Majibire told journalists.

Renamo has been demanding the creation of a transitional government since the elections took place.

Dhlakama warned at the weekend of potential violence if the results were confirmed.

The elections took place against a backdrop of rising discontent, with rapid economic growth fuelled by coal and gas deposits failing to benefit the majority of the population.

Frelimo has ruled the former Portuguese colony since independence nearly 40 years ago.

 

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