Cablegate: Mozambican General Elections: Guebuza Elected
UNCLAS MAPUTO 001639
FOR AF/FO AND AF/S
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL KDEM MZ
SUBJECT: MOZAMBICAN GENERAL ELECTIONS: GUEBUZA ELECTED
PRESIDENT, FRELIMO RETAINS PARLIAMENT
REF: MAPUTO 1616 AND PREVIOUS
1. On December 21 Mozambique's National Elections Commission
(CNE) announced the results of the December 1-2 general
elections: FRELIMO Secretary General Armando Guebuza has won
the race for president, capturing 63.74 percent of the valid
national vote and FRELIMO has returned to Parliament with a
strong majority, winning 160 seats, up from its current 133.
RENAMO leader and Guebuza's opponent in the presidential
contest, Afonso Dhlakama, won only 31.74 percent of the votes
- a significantly worse showing than in 1999 when he received
48 percent of the vote, losing to current President Chissano.
The three other candidates in the presidential race hardly
mattered at all. Raul Domingos (a former senior RENAMO
official) won 2.63 percent; Yaqub Sibindy received 0.91
percent and Carlos Reis claimed 0.87 percent. In Parliament,
the 90 seats not won by FRELIMO were taken by RENAMO. None
of the 21 other parties on the ballot received the threshold
level of five percent of the national vote needed to qualify
for a seat. FRELIMO's total was 7 seats short of the 167
needed to be able to amend the constitution.
2. Voter turnout was surprisingly light, roughly 45 percent,
well down from 74 percent in the 1999 elections. It appears
that many RENAMO and some FRELIMO voters stayed home.
3. Technically, the results are not official until the
Constitutional Council validates them, although this is
little more than a formality. Under the Mozambican
constitution this body, made up largely of prominent FRELIMO
or FRELIMO-leaning citizens, must "analyze" the election
votes, taking into account appeals and complaints. Despite
reported irregularities (see previous reporting), we
anticipate a quick endorsement of the CNE-announced results,
probably in early January. No date has been set for an
inauguration, but we have heard January 14, 15 and 18 as
4. We will provide more analysis of the 2004 elections septel.