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Last Updated: Friday, 22 July, 2005, 17:29 GMT 18:29 UK
Mozambicans in naked poll protest
Former Mozambique freedom fighters parade
Mozambicans have not marched naked before
Opposition supporters in a northern Mozambican town have marched naked to protest against alleged fraud in the mayoral election.

About 100 supporters of the opposition party, Renamo, stripped off and walked down the main street of Mocimboa da Praia on Thursday.

They shouted insults against the mayor and the governing party, Frelimo.

Frelimo has condemned the protest, saying it broke the law. Renamo says people are fed up with rigged polls.

The protest is said to have broken the law on indecent exposure and shocked many ordinary Mozambicans, says the BBC's Jose Tembe in Maputo.

Senior Renamo MP Vicente Ululu says the protesters are fed up with what they say are Frelimo's "fraudulent" ways of winning the elections.

I don't think the problem really requires that kind of protest, going nude in the street
Mozambican man

"I think those people are not fools, they have never been insane. For me it means, they are really fed up... I don't condemn them," he told the BBC World Service's Focus programme.

When asked whether it was indecent to march naked in the streets where children might be found, he said: "I don't think it is a solution. I think when one comes to the end of not knowing what to do, he can do anything."


But Frelimo condemned the Renamo move.

"This is a barbarity never experienced in the political history of independent Mozambique," said the party's secretary for information and propaganda, Edson Macuacua.

"Actually it is the most flagrant violation of the most elementary values and ethical, political and moral principles of citizenry. The protest was completely illegal, regardless of its merit or demerit, causes and objectives."

Many Mozambicans were equally unimpressed, says our correspondent.

"I don't think the problem really requires that kind of protest, going nude in the street - first it's immoral, it makes no sense to just strip out of your clothes... just because you're protesting against alleged fraud in a local election," one man told the BBC.

"I personally did not see it," said another man, "but from what I read, that sends a very bad signal of the political situation in the country and if that represents a reality which is behind what happens in the election, we have something to think about."

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Country profile: Mozambique
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