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Cablegate: Mozambican General Elections: Vote Counting

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS MAPUTO 001566

SIPDIS
MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORP
SENSITIVE
FOR AF/FO AND AF/S
MCC PASS TO BRIGGS AND GAULL
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL KDEM MZ FRELIMO RENAMO
SUBJECT: MOZAMBICAN GENERAL ELECTIONS: VOTE COUNTING

REF: A. MAPUTO 1564

B. MAPUTO 1554
C. MAPUTO 1538
Not for Internet Distribution

1. (U) Vote counting began at polling stations last night and
continued in the morning hours today. Initial results as
reported by state-owned Radio Mozambique early this morning
indicate FRELIMO candidate Armando Guebuza holds a healthy
lead with RENAMO's Afonso Dhlakama running second and PDD's
Raul Domingos in a distant third. In past elections, Radio
Mozambique reported counts from urban, more FRELIMO-leaning
areas first, only later incorporating results from the rural
RENAMO-leaning areas. It is unclear at this time how much
ground Dhlakama will gain as votes from rural polling
stations are considered.

2. (U) Embassy observers continue to report individual
polling stations' results, which generally track with those
reported in the morning press. Numbers from Tete province,
where Dhlakama won 59.6 percent of the vote in the 1999
presidential elections, indicate Guebuza holds the lead.
Tete is an area where there have been reports of FRELIMO
intimidation during the campaign and previous election years.
Embassy observers also reported lower presence of RENAMO
party delegates (observers) in some polling stations during
these elections. Embassy observers in Nampula and northern
Sofala provinces report Dhlakama leads in some districts
where he won in 1999, but the vote appears closer than
expected. Unofficial reports from the Mozambican observation
effort affiliated with the Carter Center also suggest a
healthy Guebuza lead.

3. (SBU) Though RENAMO has made some claims of fraud, these
allegations appear to be more isolated and less prevalent
than in past elections. Also, in a change from past
behavior, a high ranking RENAMO party official admitted to
the Embassy political specialist to losing a district in Cabo
Delgado, that many thought would go RENAMO. In the past,
RENAMO would more likely have claimed fraud rather than admit
defeat.

4. (SBU) An EU representative told donor representatives this
morning that the EU still was not sure how much access
National Elections Commissions (CNE) officials would allow EU
observers at the provincial and national tabulation stages
over the next several days. If the access is not what the EU
is seeking, it will not give an unqualified endorsement of
the process.

5. (SBU) We expect provincial-level tabulation of results
from individual polling places to begin today. Several
observer missions, including the EU and the Carter Center
have planned press conferences for tomorrow.
LA LIME

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