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Mozambique holds municipal elections

November 20, 2013

MAPUTO, Mozambique (AP) — Mozambicans voted in largely peaceful municipal elections on Wednesday amid tension and sporadic violence in past months between the government and the main opposition group, which boycotted the polls.

There were reports of irregularities in some areas, including delays at some polling stations and some cases of people voting more than once after failing to dip their finger in indelible ink designed to prevent duplicate voting. Most polling stations closed late Wednesday and counting began.

Some 53 municipalities are electing town presidents and assemblies, and presidential elections will be held next year. About 3.5 million people registered to vote on Wednesday.

President Armando Guebuza said authorities provided adequate security at polling stations in Sofala province, where there have been clashes involving fighters of the opposition Renamo group and security forces.

“Everything is going very well. I have voted and my sister also voted without problems,” said one resident, Ana Paula Orlando, after voting in Gorongosa, a former Renamo stronghold.

Renamo objects to the current electoral law, saying it is biased in favor of the ruling Frelimo party. The government wants Renamo fighters to disarm. The two sides fought a civil war after independence from Portugal in 1975; a peace deal was signed in 1992.

Update hourly