Mozambique: Renamo and Courts Make a Mess of Renamo Appeal

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In a protest to the Matola district court, Renamo alleged that the count by the Matola district elections commission gave it 34.51% of the votes for parliament (Assembleia da República) and 30.88% for provincial assembly when both should have been 35%.

Ballot are counted in the polling station and the results immediately posted (late on 15 October) and the CDE then adds the results sheets (editais) together and posts the district result on 18 October. The law says that an appeal to the district court must be made within 48 hours of the posting of results.

Although the challenge was to the adding up of the editais at district level, the district court ruled that the appeal was out of time because it was more than 48 hours after their posting of polling station results. The CC upheld part of the appeal, saying that the district court was wrong and the appeal was within 48 hours of the CDE ruling.

However the CC went on to note that in its initial appeal to the district court Renamo did not include copies of the editais (results sheets), which were essential to make its case. Those editais were submitted to the CC, which said it could not accept anything not included in the original case.

Finally, the CC noted that there is no point in sending the case back to the district court, because it is too late to change the district results.

The ruling by the Constitutional Council is Acórdão no 14/CC/2019, de 1 de Novembro

On similar grounds a Renamo protest against the Manhica district count was rejected. Acórdão no 13/CC/2019 (no longer posted on the CC website).

Rare Renamo victory in Moatize upheld

Renamo went to court after Moatize STAE replaced Renamo nominees on polling station staff, and its protest was upheld in the district count on 8 October. STAE district director Júlio Jossias Baulene appealed to the Constitutional Council on the grounds that he was not represented by a lawyer in the 8 October hearing. On 21 October the CC declined to hear the case since the election was already past (Acórdão no 11/CC/2019).

MDM appealed the decision of the Matola District Judicial Court not to overrule district election results on the grounds that the total number of votes in the three elections diverged. The CC returned the case to the Matola District Court. (Acórdão no 12/CC/2019)

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