30 May 2017

Mozambique: Civil Society Members of Election Commissions Chosen

Maputo — Mozambique's National Elections Commission (CNE) has selected the representatives of civil society who will join members appointed by the three parliamentary political parties on the 11 Provincial Elections Commissions.

Each of the commissions has 15 members, Six of these are appointed by the political parties (three by the ruling Frelimo Party, two by the Rebel movement Renamo and one by the Mozambique Democratic Movement, MDM). The other nine come from legally registered civil society bodies.

Speaking to reporters in Maputo on Monday, CNE spokesperson Paulo Cuinica said that across the country 128 civil society organizations had submitted nomination papers for 247 candidates.

The civil society organizations deposited the nominations with the provincial branches of the CNE's executive body, the Electoral Administration Technical Secretariat (STAE). They were then all forwarded to Maputo, where the CNE made the final selection of 99 names - nine for each of the 11 commissions.

The members of the provincial commissions should all take office on 5 June, said Cuinica, and the following day the commissions should hold their first meeting, at which their chairpersons will be elected. The chairperson of each commission must be one of the civil society representatives.

After they have been sworn into office, said Cuinica, all members of the provincial commissions must attend a training course on the electoral legislation.

The next stage will be to select the much larger number of candidates for the civil society positions on the district and city elections commissions. While there are only 11 provinces, there are 162 districts. Each of the district commissions also has 15 members, appointed in the same way as the provincial commissions.

Most of the district commissions need not be operational until 2019, the year of the next general elections. But for the 2018 municipal elections, the commissions in the districts where the 53 municipalities are located must be set up now. Including the urban districts of Maputo city, that will be 59 district commissions.

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