European Union says Mozambique elections were rigged

Mozambican ruling Party FRELIMO (Mozambique Liberation Front) Presidential Candidate and Incumbent Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi (C) gestures as he arrives to attend his party's last Mozambican General Election campaign rally on October 12, 2019 in Matola, Mozambique. - Mozambique general elections will take place on October 15, 2019. (Photo by GIANLUIGI GUERCIA / AFP) (Photo by GIANLUIGI GUERCIA/AFP via Getty Images)
Mozambique’s President and leader of ruling party Frelimo, Filipe Nyusi, and his wife Isaura Nyusi arrive to attend the final rally of their election campaign in Matola, Mozambique, October 12, 2019, REUTERS/Grant Lee Neuenburg

Saying there were voting irregularities in every province, the European Union emphatically concluded Mozambique’s recent elections were rigged to guarantee the ruling Frelimo party an easy win.

In a report released on Wednesday, the EU was especially critical of irregularities in opposition strongholds, which it said benefitted Frelimo and its candidates.

“There was an astonishing reversal of results in Sofala, Nampula and Zambézia and in opposition districts within the provinces of Manica, Tete and Niassa (such as Báruè, Tsangano and Ngaúma, respectively,” the EU report said. “Such sudden, targeted, and significant shifts in voting preferences, strictly limited to opposition districts and contradicting the 2018 municipal election results, are highly unlikely given the polarised political environment and deeply entrenched voting preferences.”

But despite the EU’s damning conclusions about the results, African election observers and many African heads of state accept the outcome.

Mozambique’s opposition has called for the results of recent elections to be annulled.

It was hoped the elections would help create a working relationship between Frelimo and members of the opposition Renamo party and bring peace to the southern African nation.

Government leaders have yet to respond to the EU’s claims.