Mozambique. In January, Ossufo Momade was formally appointed new party leader in the opposition Renamo. Momade became acting chairman in May 2018, when Afonso Dhlakama passed away. The month after, peace talks resumed between Frelimo, who is in power, and the former rebel movement Renamo. These were suspended after Renamo accused the government of cheating in the local elections in October 2018, a claim that received some support from independent witnesses. The talks culminated in an agreement called Maputo’s peace and reconciliation agreement. The agreement includes that more than 5,000 people who make up Renamo’s armed forces are to be disarmed and prepared to serve in the army or police or alternatively receive civilian duties.
In August, the head of the country’s statistics office resigned due to disagreement over the number of voters in the southern province of Gaza. The voting lengths there contained 300,000 more people than the number of eligible voters previously registered by the Statistics Office. As a result, Gaza received a larger share of the mandate in Parliament than before. Since Frelimo has strong support in the province, this would benefit the ruling party in the upcoming elections.
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Elections to the parliament and the presidential post were held in October and resulted in superior victories for Frelimo. The incumbent President Filipe Nyusi received 73% of the vote against 22% for Ossufo Momade. The parliamentary elections, which were held at the same time, were a great success for Frelimo. The ruling party increased from 144 to 184 out of a total of 250 seats, while Renamo received 60 seats, 29 fewer than after the 2014 election. Mozambique’s Democratic Movement (MDM), which captured 17 seats in the last election, also declined sharply. Renamo accused the government of electoral fraud, which was completely rejected by Frelimo. According to an EU election observer, the choice of concern was characterized by violence in several places. Some sources mentioned at least ten deaths. In several provinces, election observers should have been prevented from performing their task.
The construction of a large liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant was started in August in the city of Palma in the northern province of Cabo Delgado. The plant, which is to be operated by the American company Anadarko Petroleum, is expected to be completed by 2024. Mozambique has also turned to the Russian Federation for assistance in exploiting its natural gas resources in the north. In August, President Nyusi visited his Russian colleague Vladimir Putin and they both signed a cooperation agreement on security and energy issues. The extraction of natural gas in Cabo Delgado is threatened by militant Islamist groups that have been active in the area since 2017. In February, the first attack against a target linked to natural gas extraction was carried out.
According to CountryAAH, the population of Mozambique in 2019 was 30,365,925, ranking number 47 in the world. The population growth rate was 2.950% yearly, and the population density was 38.6150 people per km2.