Mozambique: CNE Proposes Repeat Elections On 10 December

Posters calling for a vote for President Nyusi of Mozambique (file photo).
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Mozambique: CNE Proposes Repeat Elections On 10 December. Tomorrow is the day when the Council of Ministers is anticipated to announce the date that the municipal elections in Marromeu and some areas of Guruè, Milange, and Nacala-Porto will be held again. According to the suggestion by the National Electoral Commission (CNE), the rerun would occur on Sunday, December 10, respectively.

It would appear that the idea violates Law 7/2018 of August 3, which stipulates that elections that have been deemed null and illegal must be re-conducted by the second Sunday after the judgment regarding the Constitutional Council. There was a decision made on Friday, November 24, which meant that the second Sunday would be December 3.

It was common practice to make hasty changes to the election laws, without taking into account the implications of those changes. Sometimes the CNE operates in secret because the legislation is erroneous. For instance, the procedure for distributing parliamentary seats to provinces is mathematically inaccurate, and as a result, the CNE defies the law once every five years. In previous iterations of the electoral legislation, a rerun was permitted for thirty days; nevertheless, it is abundantly evident that eight days is not sufficient time to address the logistical challenges involved in organizing an election process.

According to the CNE, in order to guarantee that the supplies are available in a timely manner, it will be necessary to enter into a contract with the company Académica, which is in charge of providing voting kits that contain ballots. Because of the limited amount of time, the order will be placed without a tender.

With 511 polling station staff members (MMVs), there will be 73 polling stations (mesas) to accommodate the 51,770 registered voters. It is estimated that the rerun will cost $336,000. In the upcoming election, will the same con artists be in charge?

The managers of the electoral administration in the four municipalities committed electoral fraud, which requires a significant amount of money from the state budget. Having access to the budget, CIP Eleições has shown that the state would be required to spend 21.5 million meticais, equivalent to $336,000.

There is no indication that any of the polling station officials, STAE directors, or district election commission chairpersons who were implicated and responsible for the fraud have been fired, and there is also no proof that any procedures have been filed against any of them. Given this information, it can be deduced that the same managers will hold elections again on December 10.

It has been a battleground and a location of fraud in all five municipal elections that have taken place in Marromeu. As a result of a significant amount of fraud, the only municipality in Sofala that had a completely fresh vote was Marromeu—the civil society observation known as Mais Integridade performed a double parallel count on this particular town.

Eleven of the twenty-eight voting locations that were seen were inflated, with a total of 2944 invisible voters. In the most extreme scenario, the edital revealed a turnout of 98% at a voting station on the school campus on June 25, with 758 ballots being cast for Frelimo. According to the observations made by observers, Frelimo had just 316 people at the polling station when the ballots were being counted on the chalkboard in the classroom during the count.

Marromeu has a lengthy and troubled history of participating in each of the five multiparity municipal elections. Five years ago, at the election that took place on October 10, 2018, the STAE and the police stole several ballot boxes, and Frelimo was the one who managed to count them in secret. With eight polling sites, a fresh election has been scheduled for November 22. In each of the eight districts, there were observers who voted Renamo the winner by a margin of 3656 votes, while the district election commission voted Frelimo the winner by a margin of 772 votes. However, the district electoral commission said that there was a turnout of 94%, even though two of the polling booths at EPC Samora Machel were scams, as no one was voting during the day.

Several ballots cast by opposing candidates have been deemed invalid in this town. An additional ink mark is secretly placed on an opposition ballot paper to render it null and void during the counting process. This is done in order to ensure that the ballot is not counted. 3.5% or less is considered to be a typical rate of nulos. During the municipal election of 2013, 13% of votes were deemed invalid. These ballots were definitely MDM votes that were deemed illegal. Because 1119 ballots were not legal (nulos), the Frelimo candidate for mayor won by a margin of only 283 votes.

Renamo filed a protest in 2008 when the null rate was higher than seven percent, but Frelimo was proclaimed the winner.

Marromeu’s election in 2003 was unlike any other election. The candidate for mayor, Frelimo, received a victory from the district election commission by a margin of two votes, and the candidate for assembly received seventeen votes. A parallel count confirmed Frelimo’s victory in the assembly. However, Renamo was declared the winner of the mayor’s race by a single vote. An objection was raised by Renamo, who pointed to the 378 nulos (9%). The conflict was brought to the CNE, where a political compromise was reached. After consulting with party leaders, representatives from both parties came to the conclusion that the parallel count should be accepted at two in the morning. A single vote decided the victory of the Renamo mayor, while Frelimo maintained control of the assembly.

The likelihood of change is “substantial” in three additional municipalities.

It is only possible for the CC to declare a mesa or municipality null and void if the new vote has the potential to have a “substantial influence on the result.” There is a possibility that the number of seats in the assembly might be altered, at the very least. In addition, we are unaware of any other modifications that the CC has previously implemented in these three towns regarding the repeats being conducted in certain polling stations in three municipalities.

Frelimo holds a lead of 4625 votes and six seats over Nova Democracia in Gurué, according to the results that the CNE released. However, the re-vote is being held in thirteen mesas, and there are 8647 people registered to vote. Additionally, there are two additional opposition parties that hold seats: Frelimo 22, ND 16, Renamo 2, and MDM 1. If the North Dakota party were to acquire three seats, then the opposition would have a majority. Undoubtedly, this is a possibility.

A total of 12,893 voters will be returning to the polls in Nacala Porto, which has 18 polling stations. These 18 polling stations could not affect the election outcome because the CNE assigned Frelimo a margin of 11,915 over Renamo before the election. It is possible that Renamo will emerge victorious in Nacala Porto if the CC has already provided Renamo with some more votes.

In Milane, the CNE has awarded Frelimo a differential of 3881 points over Renamo and five parking spots. Only three mesas (with a total of 2397 people) are voting once again.

Observers are critical of CCs.

The civil society observer consortium, Mais Integridade, has issued a study today titled “CC ruling leaves doubts about electoral truth.” In this report, the consortium expresses excellent disapproval of the CC. I have included a few quotations that have been translated from Portuguese:

“One of the most critical aspects of this year’s decision is that the CC changed election results without explaining how it arrived at the changes, particularly whether or not they were the result of its own research.”

“In addition to the data from the electoral bodies, the opposition parties submitted editais to the CC, but it is unclear whether the body used these copies, which leads one to question the practical usefulness of the copies of editais that the parties receive at the end of the day.”

“Even with the power to change data in order to enforce justice, if there is sufficient evidence, namelyeditais at various levels, that there have been counting errors, the CC must give reasons for its decisions.”

“From the document presented last Friday, it can be seen that the CC has refrained from taking bold decisions, even if they could hurt certain party interests, particularly in the main cities such as Maputo and Matola, thus refraining from fulfilling its role as the last pillar safeguarding our democratic rule of law.”

Without providing an explanation for the reasons for the adjustments, including whether or not they were the product of the Constitutional Council’s own research, the Constitutional Council made the administrative decision that Renamo candidates had won in certain towns. This resulted in a considerable number of votes being removed from Frelimo. But in the most significant municipalities, such as Maputo and Matola, the CC continued to declare Frelimo the victor, despite the fact that there was evidence of major irregularities that may have significantly impacted the results, which was to Renamo’s harm.

“It is also unclear why the CC ordered a repeat vote in the municipality of Marromeu and not in the city of Maputo, for example, where serious irregularities were reported on polling day.”

“The CC missed an opportunity to send a clear message that it does not condone or tolerate serious irregularities and electoral offenses.”

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