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DW / Nampula
Renamo has accused Frelimo of using threats and the police in its Nampula by-election campaign. Frelimo responds that Renamo is “desperate”.
With just four days to go before the end of campaigning for the second round of the mayoral by-election in Nampula, Renamo has publicly accused Frelimo of irregularities that could tarnish the entire electoral process.
Renamo spokesman in Nampula Ossufo Ulane told reporters that “the Frelimo candidate is campaigning in schools, preventing classes from taking place”. He cited as an example Muegane school, where, he said, “a meeting of all the teachers was convened with the support of the school director”.
“This is serious, and the worst of it is that all these Frelimo initiatives have been accompanied by the Police of the Republic of Mozambique.”
Threats and accusations
Ulane also accused Frelimo of bussing people in from districts outside the city of Nampula to vote for its candidate on March 14, and said that some elderly people has been threatened with the withdrawal of their old-age pension, “if they do not vote for Frelimo”. “People should understand that the National Social Security Institute does not belong to Frelimo,” he said.
“The other complaint concerns the transportation of people from outer districts, including police officers, to campaign in Nampula municipality up until the voting. We want to warn people coming to Nampula: If less-pleasant situations occur, Renamo is not responsible,” Ulane said.
Ulane was however upbeat about his party’s campaign, notwithstanding the arrest of a party member (since released) on the first day of campaigning.
“Renamo is desperate”
Frelimo spokesperson Lucinda Malema denies all these allegations and says that her party respects the law. According to Malema, Renamo’s accusations are a sign of despair within the opposition party, already looking for scapegoats ahead of a probable defeat.
“We want to say quite plainly that Frelimo is not violating the electoral process. The law exists and must be enforced. If Renamo feels that the same law is being violated, we have electoral bodies where complaints can be filed,” she observes.
“We deny that our candidate has campaigned in a school during working hours. Renamo must present evidence of this. We are working for our candidate to win the election on March 14th,” she replied.
The election campaign for the second round of the by-election ends on Monday, March 12, with the vote held two days later.
Amisse Cololo, candidate of the Liberation Front of Mozambique (Frelimo), and Paulo Vahanle, for the National Resistance of Mozambique (Renamo), obtained 44.5 and 40.32 percent of the vote respectively in the first round of the election scheduled after Mayor Mahamudo Amurane was shot dead at the door of his home on October 4, 2017 in a crime still being investigated.Source: Deutsche Welle
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