Mozambique: CNE Secrecy Promotes Fake News

opinion

The National Elections Commission (CNE) has become less transparent. It hardly uses Facebook and does not use its website. Few details have been released about party finance, except to tell parties that Deliberacao nº 58/CNE/2014, de 9 de Julho is being followed.

This has created space for fake news, attributed to a senior figure in the CNE, that a change was made to the distribution of money. The change was said to be that after the money was divided in thirds for the three elections, the money for AP and AR elections was divided next by constituencies (11 provinces plus Africa plus Europe for AR, 10 provinces for AP). It was claimed that only then was it divided by candidates. The system would have shared the same amount of money to parties in small constituencies such as Africa, with only one seat in the AR, as to Nampula with 45. This would have violated the law saying there should be equalities in money for candidates. It also would have given $14,000 more to each of the three biggest parties, while taking $12,000 from PARESO and other amounts from some of the smaller parties.

We asked CNE for clarification, but none was forthcoming. So we asked parties how much money they had been given in the first tranche, and calculated backwards to see which method was used. And we found that the CNE has distributed the money correctly and followed the law. The other report was wrong - fake news. But the CNE would not help us refute fake news that was falsely reporting CNE actions. Instead, we had to do the calculation to show that the CNE did the right thing.

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