Mozambique stares at $19m elections fund deficit

Mozambique's-election.jpgMozambique has only 44 percent of the funds needed to conduct the October general election, the country’s electoral commission said Thursday.

Of the $34 million needed for the polls, the National Electoral Commission (CNE) has only $15 million, the chairman Mr Abdul Carimo was quoted as saying by the O Pais newspaper.

Mr Carimo, however, made assurances that the agency would ensure that the polls are transparent.

Presidential, legislative and provincial elections are slated for October 15 with the government hoping donors would help foot the deficit.

However, Mr Miguel de Brito, an electoral expert in Mozambique quoted by O Pais, said there seems to be no sign yet that donors will step in.

President Felipe Nyusi, who is eligible to run for one more term, is pitted against main opposition Renamo leader Mr Ossufo Momade.

Mr Momade took over the party reins after veteran leader Afonso Dhlakama died in May last year.

President Nyusi, 60, is expected to narrowly win the elections.

Frelimo party has ruled the country since independence from Portugal in 1975.

Renamo fought a 16-year guerrilla war against Frelimo until 1992 and then emerged as an opposition party that still retains armed fighters. Clashes would erupted again from 2013 to 2016.

In December 2016, Renamo founder Mr Dhlakama announced a truce with the government, in which they agreed on constitutional reforms that would decentralise power.

Mr Momade, 58, has pursued the talks with President Nyusi that are yet to culminate in a formal peace accord as relations between Renamo and Frelimo remain tense.

However, as part of the reforms, voters will for the first time elect provincial governors, who are currently appointed by the president.

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