Maputo — Mozambique's general and provincial elections will be held "where possible" in the northern province of Cano Delgado, according to the chairperson of the National Elections Commission (CNE), Abdul Carimo, cited in Friday's issue of the independent newssheet "Mediafax".
Speaking in Maputo on Thursday, after meeting with the election observation mission from the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP), Carimo said "We shall do everything to ensure that the election happens wherever possible, and where there is no threat to people's lives".
A low level insurgency by terrorist groups, inspired by Islamic fundamentalism, has been underway in several districts in the north of Cabo Delgado since October 2017. Carimo effectively admitted that the threat of terrorist violence may make it impossible to hold elections in some parts of those districts.
Carimo said the CNE is meeting to analyse the areas that could be dangerous. "I should say that there aren't many of them", he added. "And we shall decide how we are going to deal with this matter".
Villages have been burnt down in the interior of districts such as Mocimboa da Praia, Macomia and Nangade, and many of their inhabitants have fled to the coast or to the main towns. They are likely to lose their right to vote, since citizens are supposed to vote at the same place where they registered as voters in April and May.
Earlier in the day, Claudio Langa, spokesperson for the CNE's executive body, the Electoral Administration Technical Secretariat (STAE), told reporters that the electoral bodies in Cabo Delgado were in daily contact with the security authorities to assess the situation.