Mozambique: Police Fire Tear Gas in Mocuba

Maputo — The Mozambican police on Tuesday fired tear gas to disperse a crowd of voters protesting that their names are not on the voter roll at the polling station where they registered as voters in Mocuba district, in the central province of Zambezia, according to a report from the election observation Facebook page of the anti-corruption NGO, the Centre for Public Integrity (CIP).

Observers said that, faced with the police action, hundreds of voters abandoned the Mocuba polling assembly. Unless they returned later in the day, these citizens lost their right to vote.

Cases of voters who have voters' cards, but whose names do not appear on the voter roll in the polling station, have been reported from other parts of the country. There is more than one copy of the voter roll - one is used by the polling station staff (MMVs), a replica is used to guide voters to the correct polling station (since each polling site usually contains several polling stations), and the political parties have also received copies. Confusingly, these multiple copies of the voter roll are not always identical.

Early in the afternoon, the general director of the Electoral Administration Technical Secretariat (STAE), Felisberto Naife, announced that anyone with a voter card will be allowed to vote if his or her name is in at least one copy of the voter roll.

This instruction, announced just four hours before the close of polls, may have come too late to make much difference.

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