Vote counting begins in Mozambique polls

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Pretoria - The counting of votes in Mozambique's fourth general elections have started at the country's 12 000 polling stations.

Polling stations closed late on Wednesday, with results trickling in later in the evening. Final results are expected to be announced within 15 days of the election.

According to preliminary findings by observers from the European Union, Mozambique hosted a calm, orderly vote, with no major irregularities noted by the time polls closed.

The mission will release its final statement on the election on Friday.

Chairperson of Mozambique's National Elections Commission (CNE), Joao Leopoldo da Costa, said that as far as he could see, the country's general and provincial elections turnout was positive.

Seventeen parties and two coalitions are competing for nearly 10 million registered voters in polls tipped to be swept by President Armando Guebuza and his Liberation Front of Mozambique (Frelimo) party.

Opposition ballots are likely to be divided between the Mozambican National Resistance (Renamo) and its breakaway Democratic Movement of Mozambique (MDM), paving the way for Frelimo to cement its rule since independence from Portugal in 1975.

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