NAMPULA, MOZAMBIQUE– Voters in this city in northern Mozambique went to the polls again on Wednesday for the second round of the mayoral by-election.
The first round, held on Jan 24, was inconclusive since no candidate won an absolute majority and under Mozambican law, a run-off round must be held between the two candidates with the most votes — Amisse Cololo of the ruling Frelimo Party and Paulo Vahanle of the rebel movement Renamo.
In the first round, Cololo won 44.51 per cent, and Vahanle won 40.32 per cent. The candidate of the second largest opposition party, the Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM), Carlos Saide, took 10.1 per cent of the vote. Subsequently, the MDM threw its weight behind Vahanle, and has urged its supporters to vote for the Renamo candidate.
Victory may very well hinge on the turnout; on Jan 24, only 25 per cent of the registered electorate voted. If either Cololo or Vahanle manages to mobilise a significant number of the 75 per cent who abstained last time, it may be sufficient to swing the contest.
On Tuesday, the Chairperson of the National Elections Commission (CNE), Abdul Carimo, urged the Nampula voters to turn out en masse at the polling stations. The active participation of the electorate, he said, is a sign of democratic maturity.
You should all leave home tomorrow (Wednesday) morning and make your way to the polling stations to exercise your right to vote, he said, regardless of whether they still had their 2014 voter card. All situations have been taken care of, so that all registered voters who do not have a voter card can vote.”
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK