Wednesday, October 15, 2014 11:52 pm
Mozambique opposition parties claimed Wednesday to have unearthed incidents of attempted ballot stuffing as the southern African country voted in closely-fought elections.
The Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM) alleged that one of its member was shot by police in both feet after he tried to prevent a local ruling Frelimo official from stuffing a ballot box, in central Sofala province.
“A young man was shot. He tried to stop the Frelimo secretary from stuffing boxes,” said MDM spokesman, Sandes Carmona.
The electoral commission and foreign observers confirmed some incidents had occurred, but said that overall the went fairly smoothly.
“There have been some incidents here and there but in general the situation is under control,” Paulo Cuinica, spokesman for the national Electoral Commission told AFP.
The European Union observers said they had “noticed some irregularities.”
“But I would say all-in-all until closing time, it was fairly okay. It was calm,” European Union observer chief Judith Sargentini told AFP.
She said EU observers had gathered from sources that a member of Renamo, the main opposition party, had discovered possible ballot stuffing at one polling station in central Tete province and angry voters there set ballot boxes alight.
Six people had been arrested in connection with the burning of the ballot boxes, according to the electoral commission.
In northern Nampula, riot police used teargas to disperse a crowd that had gathered at a polling station to watch the counting, claimed the MDM representative in the area, Elias Nquiri.
This happened in one of the neighbourhoods where electricity supply was lost as vote counting got underway.
Main opposition Renamo spokesman, Adriano Muchunga, claimed police had opened fire in the same province of Nampula, the largest electoral province.
The electoral commission said pnly that police were forced to use teargas on “suspicions there might be harassment and manipulations.”
The former rebel Renamo said its party observers had been prevented from watching the vote in many parts of the country.
The EU said Renamo monitors were absent in 30 percent of polling stations it visited while the MDM was also not present in a third of the stations.
Wednesday’s presidential and parliamentary vote is a tough electoral test for the ruling Frelimo party, which has run the southern African country since independence from Portugal in 1975.