Mozambique’s Nyusi secures landslide victory in presidential poll, opposition cry foul

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Mozambique’s incumbent President Filipe Nyusi has won a landslide victory in an election it was hoped would calm tensions in a nation soon to become a top global gas exporter, but has instead stoked divisions as opposition parties cry foul.

Nyusi secured 73% of the vote in the presidential race, the National Election Commission (CNE) said on Sunday, while his party, the ruling Frelimo, also won big in the legislative and provincial contests.

Ossufo Momade, candidate for former guerrilla movement turned main opposition party Renamo, which has already rejected the outcome, trailed with 21.88% of the vote, the CNE said.

During his second five-year term, Nyusi will be responsible for overseeing a gas boom led by oil giants such as Exxon Mobil Corp and Total, battling a festering Islamist insurgency and delivering on a peace deal signed two months ago.

Speaking to supporters in a suburb of the capital Maputo, where he appeared on stage to a chorus of cheers and vuvuzelas, Nyusi said he would further develop Mozambique and speed up the implementation of the deal.

“I will work so that we can have a prosperous, equitable and fair Mozambique,” he told the crowd. “In these elections, the Mozambican people won.”

It was hoped the Oct. 15 poll could set the seal on the fragile peace pact, designed to put a definitive end to four decades of violence between Frelimo and Renamo. The two fought a 16-year civil war that ended in a truce in 1992 but have clashed sporadically since.

Instead the deal is at risk of falling apart as opposition parties reject the results, claiming they were tarnished by fraud, violence and irregularities from the outset. Frelimo says the elections were free and fair.

Titi