Mozambique: Renamo Tells CNE Head: Sack STAE Director, Problems Worst in Renamo Zones

Dozens of registration posts are closed because of lack of equipment, mainly in Renamo areas, showing the incapacity of STAE to conduct the electoral process, a Renamo delegation told CNE president Abdul Carimo yesterday. It demanded that Felisberto Naife be dismissed as director-general of STAE (Secretariado Tecnico da Administracao Eleitoral).

The delegation was led by party spokesperson Jose Manteigas and Renamo election office head Maria Joaquina. Both are members of parliament. They said the lack of solar panels was a particular problem. "Thousands of Mozambicans are losing their chance to register," said Manteigas. "We asked the president what action was being taken to make up for the time lost at closed registration posts."

The Bulletin conducted a survey on 1 May which found that 9% of registration posts were closed, and another 10% had problems leading to slow registration and long queues. This was published in the previous bulletin: http://bit.ly/MozGE-17

Manteigas said the non-working posts are mostly in areas where Renamo is strongest, saying "this is all a show to hide the intention to register the fewest people possible in areas of Renamo influence."

Renamo said that 149 registration posts are still closed in Sofala, including in Chibabava district (7 of 22 posts closed), Buzi (10 of 34 posts closed for lack of electricity), and Nhamatanda (32 of 47 posts closed, again because of no power for the registration computer). Manteigas said that in Zambezia 105 posts are not working and in Manica 18 posts are closed (16 in Sussundenga and 2 in Machaze). In Cabo Delgado 18 post are not open in Chiure district, 7 in Mocimboa da Praia, 4 in Meluco and 2 in Palma.

Abdul Carimo, president of the National Elections Commission (Comissao Nacional de Eleicoes, CNE) blamed the cyclones. He did not deny the closures, but said that the damage caused by the cyclones meant there was unexpected demand for alternative energy sources. He also blamed access problems caused by damaged roads.

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