General elections kick off in Mozambique


Polls officially open in Mozambique on Tuesday morning as voters trooped out to cast their ballot in presidential, parliamentary, and provincial elections.

The vote is a competition between the ruling Frelimo Party of President Filipe Nyusi and former rebel group-turned-opposition Renamo, which is led by Ossufo Momade.

Authorities will start counting the ballots after polls close at 6 pm local time and are expected to continue through the night. Preliminary results are however expected no earlier than Wednesday.

President Nyusi and Momade signed a peace pact in August, ending years of an armed conflict between government and rebel forces in the country.

The results of the polls are likely to see the president’s party secure a second term but Renamo is hoping to use electoral changes agreed in the peace deal to win control of its traditional heartlands in central and northern.

Frelimo has been in power for 44 years, since Mozambique’s independence from Portugal in 1975.

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