Maputo — Mozambique's National Elections Commission (CNE) has postponed the pilot voter registration which was due to have begun on Monday.
The plan had been to hold the pilot registration in nine districts in three provinces - Nampula, Sofala and Maputo - in order to test how operational the equipment and software to be used by the registration brigades is. The idea was to use 58 registration brigades, each consisting of three people, and to register 116,000 people.
According to CNE spokesperson Paulo Cuinica, cited in Monday's issue of the Maputo daily “Noticias”, the CNE decided to replace Nampula by Cabo Delgado province, because of the assassination of the mayor of Nampula city, Mahamudo Amurane, on 4 October, and the subsequent decision to hold a mayoral by-election in the city.
The pilot registration, the CNE argues, will make it possible to correct any faults detected so that when the real voter registration for the national municipal elections begins in March, it will proceed smoothly.
The pilot registration will incorporate some improvements - including better photographs of the voters, and printing the voter cards on more durable material. A bar code will be introduced allowing the voter cards to be read by the appropriate equipment, and giving the voter access to information such as the location of the polling station where he or she should vote.
Cuinica said the pilot registration will be rescheduled for a date to be announced later. The exercise will cost 18 million meticais (about 295,000 US dollars), covered by the CNE's budget for this year.