Mozambique's ruling party retains control in elections

December 22, 2004

The presidential elections in the Southern African nation Mozambique have resulted in a landslide victory for the ruling Frelimo party. The party's candidate, Armando Guebuza, was elected to the presidential post for the five-year term starting in 2005 with 63.7% of the vote.

The election was held on December 1 and 2, 2004, and the results were officially announced yesterday by the country's National Elections Committee (CNE). It also announced Frelimo's continued dominance in the parliament. The opposition Renamo party came in second, with its presidential candidate garnering less than half as many votes as Mr. Guebuza. For Frelimo, 2005 will mark the party's 30th year in power — uninterrupted since the country's independence from Portugal.

The election was closely monitored by international observers, who have alleged some amount of fraud. The Carter Center — an organization providing election monitors — certain aspects of the election contained irregularities, and the tally counting process could not be verified. However, observers appear to concur that any voting fraud in this election is unlikely to change the result of the presidential elections — though it could have an effect on the allocation of parliamentary seats. Nevertheless, the opposition Renamo party has announced that it will not take its 90 seats in the parliament because of fraud. The party has one week to appeal the election results.