Mozambique could experience post-election violence after the country’s main opposition party, Renamo, called for last week’s election to be annulled, citing intimidation and fraud, a leading political analyst said Monday.
‘‘The possibility of post-election violence cannot be ruled out in Mozambique because many African countries have previously experienced similar violence after opposition parties in their countries claimed there was election rigging,” Dirk Kotze, a professor in Political Sciences at the University of South Africa, told Anadolu Agency.
Kotze said countries such as Kenya, Zimbabwe and Ivory Coast had witnessed incidents of post-election violence.
He also expressed concern that militant groups allegedly affiliated with Daesh operating in northern Mozambique could take advantage of the election dispute and terrorize citizens for their own advantage.
However, he said he is hopeful that the Southern African Development Community (SADC), a regional block of 15 countries that has been monitoring the elections, would swiftly respond to avoid conflict.
Mozambicans cast their votes in a highly contested election last Tuesday to choose a president, members of parliament and provincial leaders.
Four main political parties vied in the polls. But the contest narrowed down between the ruling party Frelimo, which has been in power since the country gained independence from Portugal in 1975, and the main opposition party and former rebel group Renamo.
According to partial election results, Frelimo obtained nearly 70% of the vote, giving President Fillipe Nyusi a commanding lead.
His main rival -- Ossufo Momade of Renamo -- had 26%.
Renamo on Saturday rejected the results, saying the process was a sham involving ballot box stuffing, violence and other irregularities.
“We are worried about what might happen next because all opposition parties have denied the partial election results released on Friday,” Abdul Majid Mostaf a resident of the capital, Maputo, said by telephone.
Like many Mozambicans, Mostaf prays that his country does not descend into conflict like before.
Unconfirmed media reports claimed Sunday that some Mozambicans had fled to neighboring Malawi out of fear of post-election violence.
Commentators say the concluded general election is expected to test the significance of the recently signed peace deal between the government of Mozambique and Renamo sealed last August which ended years of conflict in the southern African nation.
Several African leaders attended a ceremony in Maputo for the signing of the document between Nyusi and Momade.
Renamo launched a civil war against the Frelimo government in 1975 shortly after Mozambique gained independence from Portugal.
The on-and-off conflict lasted over 15 years, claiming around one million lives.
By Hassan Isilow in Johannesburg