Mozambique: Stae Denies That Fake Voting Material Being Smuggled in

Maputo — It is completely untrue that illicit ballot boxes and voting material are being smuggled into Mozambique in order to commit fraud in Tuesday's general and provincial elections, the spokesperson for the Electoral Administration Technical Secretariat (STAE), Claudio Langa, told AIM on Monday.

A coalition formed by the two main opposition parties, Renamo and the Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM), plus four smaller groups, issued a statement on Saturday claiming that "a private company named CC Investimentos has, under cover of night, been introducing ballot boxes and voting material into Mozambique".

Langa said that the voting material (such as the ballot papers and the results sheets) has, in reality, been produced by the companies Academica and Uniprint, which won the tender.

CC Investimentos exists, but it does not produce voting material. During the April/May voter registration, it produced kits of solar panels to provide power.

Langa pointed out that the law contains safeguards against ballot box stuffing. The boxes are transparent and are made of plastic. At the start of operations on polling day, the staff display the open boxes to everyone else in the polling station - political party monitors, observers and journalists - to prove that there is nothing inside them.

Each box is closed with four seals, and the numbers of the seals are read out aloud. When the box is opened at the end of voting, the seal numbers are read out again and should be the same.

The opposition parties also claimed that two ballot boxes containing ballot papers already marked had been discovered in Cuamba district, in the northern province of Niassa.

Langa said this was completely false, and asked why the people who had made such a sensational discovery had not shown the ballot boxes and their contents to the public.

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