Maputo — The final figures from this year's voter registration in Mozambique show that 87.7 per cent of the estimated potential electorate of 12,203,727 has been registered.
Voter registration began on 15 February and should have ended on 29 April. At the request of the former rebel movement Renamo, registration was extended by a further 10 days, and so ended on 9 May.
It was only during the last couple of days that the final eight brigades were able to deploy to areas in Gorongosa district, in the central province of Sofala, which had been seriously affected by clashes between Renamo gunmen and Mozambican government forces.
It had been hoped to register 9.14 million voters this year.
In the event the 4,078 registration brigades issued voter cards to just over 7.7 million people. In addition, more than three million people were registered last year in the 53 municipalities, prior to the municipal elections held on 20 November 2013. When the registration figures for 2013 and 2014 are added together, Mozambique now has a total registered electorate of 10,697,245.
Broken down by province, the figures are as follows:
1. Niassa - 602,921 (80.1 per cent of the target)
2. Cabo Delgado - 939,622 (100.5 per cent)
3. Nampula - 2,090,023 (85.5 per cent)
4. Zambezia - 1,871,146 (85.1 per cent)
5. Tete - 940,758 (83.7 per cent)
6. Manica - 705,129 (84.6 per cent)
7. Sofala - 925,903 (98.9 per cent)
8. Inhambane - 597,910 (86.1 per cent)
9. Gaza - 571,832 (87 per cent)
10. Maputo Province - 746,458 (83.8 per cent)
11. Maputo City - 705,543 (95.8 per cent).
Despite the clashes with Renamo, the brigades in Sofala reached almost 100 per cent of the estimated potential electorate. Sofala was beaten only by Cabo Delgado, in the far north. Achieving over 100 per cent of the target is possible because the projections from the 2007 census do not take recent migration into account. The Cabo Delgado population is believed to have swollen as people move into the province because of the recent discoveries of huge deposits of natural gas.
Based on the final registration figures, the CNE has now allocated parliamentary seats to the provinces. The seats are allocated in proportion to registered voters, and the results are as follows (the number of seats in the current parliament is shown in brackets):
1. Niassa - 14 (14)
2. Cabo Delgado - 22 (22)
3. Nampula - 49 (45)
4. Zambezia - 45 (43)
5. Tete - 22 (20)
6. Manica - 16 (16)
7. Sofala - 22 (20)
8. Inhambane - 14 (16)
9. Gaza - 13 (16)
10. Maputo Province - 17 (16)
11. Maputo City - 16 (18)
Thus Nampula gains four seats, Sofala and Tete each gain two, and Maputo province gains one. Zambezia, Inhambane and Maputo City each lose two seats, while Gaza loses three. The number of seats for Niassa, Cabo Delgado and Manica remains unchanged. The Mozambican parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, has 250 seats, and the 11 provinces account for 248 of them.
The remaining two seats are reserved for representatives of Mozambicans living abroad, one for Africa and one for the rest of the world.
The voter registration is also used to calculate the number of seats in the ten provincial assemblies. The law on the provincial assemblies states that when a province has 400,000 registered voters or fewer, the assembly has 50 seats. When the number of voters is between 400,000 and half a million, the number of seats rises to 60. Where there are between 500,000 and 600,000 registered voters, the Assembly has 70 members. The number of seats rise to 80 in provinces where there are between 600,000 and 700,000 votes. In provinces with more than 700,000 voters, the Assemblies grow by one seat for every additional 100,000 voters. So the number of seats in the provincial assemblies to be elected on 15 October will be as follows:
1. Niassa - 80
2. Cabo Delgado - 82
3. Nampula - 93
4. Zambezia - 91
5. Tete - 82
6. Manica - 80
7. Sofala - 82
8. Inhambane - 70
9. Gaza - 70
10. Maputo province - 80
Maputo City does not have a provincial assembly, since it is the only one of the 11 provinces whose entire territory is covered by a municipal assembly.