Mozambique News Agency

AIM Reports


Election special


 

CNE confirms Frelimo victory

Maputo, 11 Nov (AIM) – Mozambique’s National Elections Commission (CNE) on Wednesday announced the final results from the 28 October general elections, confirming an overwhelming victory for incumbent president Armando Guebuza and the ruling Frelimo Party.

Reading out the results at a public ceremony in Maputo, CNE chairperson Joao Leopoldo da Costa said that Guebuza had won 2.9 million of the 3.9 million valid votes – which is slightly more than 75 per cent.

The runner-up was Afonso Dhlakama, leader of Renamo, who took almost 651,000 votes, or 16.5 per cent. The third candidate, the mayor of Beira, Daviz Simango, who heads the Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM), took 341,000 votes, or 8.6 per cent.

These results are broadly in line with the results from the polling stations and districts, announced by Radio Mozambique on 29-31 October, with the provisional results from the provinces drawn up by the Electoral Administration Technical Secretariat (STAE), the executive wing of the CNE, and with the parallel count undertaken by the Electoral Observatory, the largest and most credible grouping of domestic election observers.

As for the parliamentary election, Frelimo’s vote shadowed that of Guebuza, taking 75 per cent. Renamo did somewhat better than its leader, taking 17.8 per cent of the parliamentary vote.

In third place was the MDM with four per cent. This does not express the full level of support for the MDM because the party was only able to stand candidates in four provinces (Maputo City, Sofala, Niassa and Inhambane). The CNE rejected, on procedural grounds, the list of MDM candidates for the other nine constituencies.

16 minor parties stood in the parliamentary elections, and their results were uniformly dismal. None of them took as much as one per cent of the vote.

These results strengthen Frelimo’s already impressive parliamentary majority. The number of seats held by Frelimo in the 250 member Assembly of the Republic rises from 160 to 191. The Renamo parliamentary group drops from 90 to 51 members. A third force enters the parliament – thanks to its strong showing in Sofala and Maputo City, the MDM will have eight deputies.

For the first time, provincial assemblies were elected, varying in size from 70 to 91 members. Frelimo won an absolute majority in all ten assemblies. The only provincial assembly with a sizeable opposition is Sofala, where the MDM won 20 seats to 59 for Frelimo and one for Renamo.

The provincial assemblies have no legislative powers. They simply approve (or reject) the budget presented by the provincial government, and have limited powers of oversight. They will meet only twice a year for no more than ten days a session.

Final election results

Maputo, 11 Nov (AIM) – The final results in the 28 October general elections, announced on Wednesday by Mozambique’s National Elections Commission (CNE), are as follows (the order of candidates is as they appeared on the ballot paper):

Presidential election

Daviz Simango (MDM): 340,579 (8.59 per cent)
Armando Guebuza (Frelimo): 2,974,627 (75.00 per cent)
Afonso Dhlakama (Renamo): 650,679 (16.41 per cent)

Parliamentary election

Frelimo: 2,907,335 (74.66 per cent)
Renamo: 688,782 (17.68 per cent)
MDM: 152,836 (3.93 per cent)

16 minor parties were on the ballot paper in one or more of the constituencies, but none of them took even as much as one per cent of the total vote. Bottom of the list was the Party of Social Democratic Reconciliation (PRDS), which took just 399 votes – 0.01 per cent.

Embarrassingly, the percentages given in the CNE document on the results are wrong, adding up to 100.61 per cent for the presidential and 100.55 per cent for the parliamentary elections. In this item, AIM has taken the liberty of correcting the CNE’s mathematics.

The CNE gave the turnout for the presidential election as 44.52 per cent of the electorate of 9.8 million, and as 44.44 per cent for the parliamentary election – which suggests that a few thousand voters were only interested in voting for the president and did not accept a parliamentary ballot paper (or possibly that there have been other minor mathematical errors somewhere on the chain between the polling stations and the CNE).

CNE denounces vote tampering

Maputo, 11 Nov (AIM) – The chairperson of Mozambique’s National Elections Commission (CNE), Joao Leopoldo da Costa, on Wednesday admitted that the general elections of 28 October were marred by the deliberate invalidation of votes by polling station staff.

At the Maputo public ceremony where he announced the final election results, Costa said the CNE was worried at the “invalidation of valid votes because of lack of civic education or bad faith by some interested parties or people involved in the electoral process”.

The law states that any ballot paper with marks beside the names of two candidates is invalid – so corrupt staff members hit on the bright idea of taking votes belonging to a candidate they dislike and adding ink marks to make it seem as if the voters have tried to vote for two candidates. This form of malpractice has been noted since the 2004 general elections.

The CNE publicly denounced the behaviour of dishonest staff at the time of the second round of the mayoral election in the northern port of Nacala in February. Now Costa repeated the denunciation, and reminded his listeners that vote tampering is a crime.

He said that those who altered the votes sometimes used the inkpad or the ballpoint pen left in the voting booths for voters to mark their ballots. With these instruments, they changed the meaning of the ballot.

“Although the number of votes in this situation does not alter the final outcome of the election”, said Costa, “the CNE vehemently repudiates this practice and proposes to continue working to discourage such acts, with the involvement of all interested parties. This is an electoral crime punishable under the terms of the electoral law and applicable criminal legislation”.

Costa added that it was imperative that the relevant state bodies “should always be prepared and duly trained for criminal investigation about conduct that constitutes electoral crimes”.

The CNE said that, after the discovery of vote tampering in the Nacala mayoral election, it informed the Public Prosecutor’s Office. But nine months later nobody has been arrested, and the Mozambican observer who witnessed some of this rigging has not been questioned.

Costa did not mention a second form of malpractice – which is the recording of impossibly high turnouts in some polling stations. Thus, in an election where the CNE put national turnout at 44 per cent, the district of Chicualacuala, in Gaza province, claimed a turnout of 96 per cent, and Changara, in Tete province, claimed 95 per cent. In these, and several other districts, there were polling stations that claimed absurd turnouts of 100 per cent or more.

The Electoral Administration Technical Secretariat (STAE), the executive wing of the CNE, made an attempt to clean some of this up. There were 122 Changara polling stations, but when AIM looked for Changara results sheets in the STAE data base, only 71 could be found. Thus STAE seems to have eliminated the results from the most egregiously corrupt polling stations.

Although both the main opposition party Renamo, and the breakaway Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM) have protested about alleged frauds, neither of them complained to the CNE or to the district and provincial elections commissions.

The electoral law states that, if something illicit happens at a polling station, accredited political party monitors present must protest at once, and have two days to make a complaint to the CNE.

But Costa said that the CNE had received no complaints at all. No party representative had delivered any protest to any of the election commissions within the deadline (which expired on 30 October).

It might well be the case that polling station returning officers refused to accept complaints from monitors. That is a crime, and the polling station manual makes it clear that staff must write down all complaints from monitors.

If the staff refuse to accept the complaint, the monitors should go over their heads to the election commissions, or even report the matter to the police. According to Costa, in not a single instance did any party monitor take such action.

Costa added that the CNE became aware, through its own channels, and not through Renamo, of a brawl at a Mozambique Island polling station, which led to the arrest of a Renamo monitor. He said the CNE immediately took action to ensure that the monitor was released.

Renamo’s version of events is that this monitor was protesting at the attempt by a Frelimo voter to stuff extra votes into the ballot boxes. But the monitor did not inform the CNE of this serious offence.

Renamo appoints two members to each of the district and provincial election commissions, and has two members on the CNE. Costa said that in every district the results were approved by consensus. Nowhere did the Renamo appointees vote against them - which means that Renamo did not protest at the obvious malpractice in districts such as Changara and Chicualacuala.

Similarly at national level. The CNE decision approving the results was passed by consensus, with neither of the Renamo appointees dissenting.

Asked about Renamo failure to protest, Ivone Soares, spokesperson for the Renamo election office, told AIM that several district commissions refused to accept Renamo protests. She did not say what steps the Renamo-appointed members of those commissions took, or why they had all apparently rubber-stamped the results.

The Renamo national election agent, Saimone Macuiana, said he had made a protest at the CNE meeting on Tuesday that drew up the resolution on the results. This protest will now be forwarded to the Constitutional Council, which has the final word on electoral disputes, and must validate and proclaim the results.

 


email: Mozambique News Agency


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