COUNTRY UPDATE: 18 October 2023
Johan Viljoen, Reabetswe Tloubatla


Mozambique’s local government elections on October 11, 2023, were marked by vote rigging, fraud, public protests, and police violence. The main contenders were the ruling party Frelimo, the main opposition Renamo, and the MDM. The country was polarized, with Renamo in control of the north, MDM in Beira, and Frelimo in the south. Frelimo aimed to regain control of opposition-held municipalities, causing discontent among voters tired of war, corruption, and poverty after 48 years of Frelimo rule. Violent clashes between Frelimo and Renamo supporters occurred before the elections, and there were reports of ballot box tampering. Preliminary results, leaked in Savana Newspaper, indicated Renamo’s surprising victory in the Maputo metropolitan area with 56%, a significant shift in Mozambican politics.

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