Mozambique: Zambezia Governor Urges Calm During Voting

Maputo — Quelimane (Mozambique), 15 Oct (AIM) - The governor of the central Mozambican province of Zambezia, Abdul Razak, on Tuesday morning urged all registered voters in the province to make their way to the polling stations to participate in the general and provincial elections.

Speaking after casting his vote at a polling station in the provincial capital, Quelimane, Razak asked for the cooperation of all voters in ensuring that the elections occur in an environment of harmony without problems that might result in violations of the electoral law.

"This is a festive occasion", he said, "and so I urge that it should take place in a civic, orderly, tranquil and peaceful manner, avoiding illegalities".

Razak reiterated the appeal made by the National Elections Commission (CNE) and by the police that, after voting, each citizen should leave the polling station and wait calmly for the announcement of the results.

He was referring, indirectly, to the calls made by Manuel de Araujo, the Mayor of Quelimane and candidate of the main opposition party, Renamo, for governor of Zambezia, that voters should not leave the polling stations but gather there to "control the vote".

Razak said the competing political parties all have the right to appoint monitors at each and every polling station who are entitled to observe everything that takes place. This was the true way of controlling the vote, he said.

The law states that nobody who has already voted is allowed to remain in the polling station. To get round this, Araujo has suggested that his supporters should gather 300 metres outside the polling stations. This makes little sense since, at a distance of 300 metres, particularly at night, it will be impossible to see what is happening in the polling station.

The predicable result of bringing hundreds of people together at night, in the vicinity of polling stations, while the count is in progress, will be a clash with the police.

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