26 October 2018

Mozambique: Elections Body Rubber Stamps Results as Frelimo Prevents Discussion

By a vote of 8 to 5 (with 3 abstentions) the CNE decided it could not consider evidence against the district results in five municipalities. That must be left to the court system and the constitutional council, and the CNE could do nothing but rubber stamp the district results. The National Elections Commission (CNE) announced national results and the outcome of its internal debate this afternoon (24 October).

Renamo presented evidence that the results had been changed to improperly give Frelimo victory over Renamo in five municipalities - Monapo, Alto Molocue, Moatize, Marromeu, and Matola. In the past, the CNE has considered such evidence and sometimes corrected the result. But Frelimo argued that it could no longer do this.

CNE members are named by parties or party-linked civil society groups. The 8 Frelimo members voted that the CNE could not consider the Renamo evidence, the 5 Renamo members voted in favour, and the CNE president and two MDM members abstained.

So it remains for the Constitutional Council to rule on the five municipalities.

The results announced today say Frelimo has the mayor (the head of the list of party with most votes) in 44 municipalities, Renamo 8 and MDM 1. But Renamo contests 5 of those Frelimo victories, and has substantial evidence to support its claim in 4 of them.

Substantial gains for opposition

Turnout was 60.05%, well above the 46% of the past two municipal elections. And Frelimo only gained just over half the vote - 51.78%. This suggests that a large part of the additional vote was for the opposition. But the opposition is divided; Renamo won 38.90%, MDM 8.50%, and small parties and citizens lists the rest.

The closeness of the vote is shown by the 6 of the 53 municipalities where no party has a majority in the municipal assembly. The affects all three main parties - Frelimo has the mayor of Matola but no majority in the assembly, MDM similarly in Beira, and Renamo in Malema. Similarly, in 7 assemblies the leading party has a majority of only 1.

In every assembly, even in the Frelimo heartland of Gaza, the opposition has at least 1 seat. No small party or citizens list won a seat in a municipal assembly.

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