Maputo — Mozambique’s Electoral Administration Technical Secretariat (STAE), the electoral branch of the civil service, is convinced that municipal elections can still be held by November this year, despite the delay in setting up a new National Elections Commission (CNE).
Speaking at a Maputo press conference on Monday, STAE General Director Felisberto Naife said that the existing CNE, which organised the 2008 municipal and 2009 general elections, is still in office. It will only leave office once a new CNE is sworn in – and that cannot happen until the next sitting of the Mozambican parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, scheduled to begin in mid-March.
STAE, Naife said, is working to a plan drawn up by the CNE last year. He did not foresee any major problems in holding the elections for the mayors and municipal assemblies in the country’s 43 municipalities, as long as the voter registration is conducted before the end of June.
The sum allocated in the 2013 state budget for the elections is 847.4 million meticais (about 28 million US dollars). This covers all expenditure on voter registration, training electoral staff, producing electoral materials and other expenditure inherent to the elections.
“If there are no great variations in prices, this amount is sufficient”, said Naife. “But if necessary, we can put in a request to the government for further funds”.
Naife announced that an extended meeting of the Consultative Council of STAE will take place from Wednesday to Friday at the southern resort of Bilene. Attended by STAE officials from all 11 provinces, it will discuss the revival of the district branches of STAE, the training of voter registration brigades, voter education programmes, the identification of suitable places for registration brigades to do their work, and all other necessary preparations for the registration and the voting.