Mozambique: Constitutional Council Copies and Pastes CNE's Election Results

Maputo — Mozambique's Constitutional Council, the country's highest body in matters of constitutional and electoral law, on Monday validated and proclaimed the results of the presidential, parliamentary and provincial elections held on 15 October.

Reading out the Council's ruling, its chairperson, Lucia Ribeiro, said the Council had "re-checked" all the results delivered by the National Elections Commission (CNE).

But in reality, there was no "re-checking" - the results read out by Ribeiro are exactly the same as the results declared by the CNE on 27 October. They are identical - which means that the Constitutional Council repeated an embarrassing mathematical mistake made by the CNE.

The presidential result declared by the CNE and repeated by the Constitutional Council is:

Filipe Nyusi (Frelimo) 4,507,549 (73 per cent)

Ossufo Momade (Renamo) 1,351,284 (21.88 per cent)

Daviz Simango (MDM) 270,615 (4.38 per cent)

Mario Albino (Amusi) 45,265 (0.74 per cent)

But these results are wrong. The CNE simply forgot about the Mozambican voters in the diaspora. The error is strange, because the two diaspora consistencies (Africa, and the Rest of the World) were included in the figure for total registration of voters (13,162,321).

Once the CNE's figures are corrected to include the diaspora voters, the victory of incumbent President Filipe Nyusi and of the ruling Frelimo Party becomes even larger. By omitting the diaspora, the CNE had mislaid over 131,000 Nyusi votes. And the Constitutional Council did not correct this blunder.

Once the diaspora is included, the presidential result becomes:

Filipe Nyusi (Frelimo) 4,639,015 (73.4 per cent) Ossufo Momade (Renamo) 1,356,644 (21.5 per cent) Daviz Simango (MDM) 273,397 (4.3 per cent) Mario Albino (AMUSI) 46,043 (0.7 per cent)

Exactly the same omission occurred with the parliamentary result. The CNE's figures are for the 11 constituencies in Mozambique and omit the two diaspora constituencies. And the Constitutional Council did not check this either, but just repeated the mistake.

Here are the two sets of figures:

CNE/Constitutional Council parliamentary result (without the diaspora)

Frelimo 4,195,072 (70.78 per cent)

Renamo 1,346,009 (22.71 per cent)

MDM 251,347 (4.24 per cent)

True results (with the diaspora)

Frelimo 4,322,944 (71.2 per cent) Renamo 1,351,325 (22.3 per cent) MDM 253,733 (4.2 per cent)

The other 2.3 per cent was scattered around 23 minor parties.

In October, the CNE's mistake was spotted and corrected by some of the media, notably by the "Mozambique Political Process Bulletin", published by the anti-corruption NGO, the Centre for Public Integrity (CIP) and by AIM.

Two months have passed and the same mistake appears in the Constitutional Council's validation of the results. So, far from rigorously analysing the results, the Council could not even be bothered to put the results on a spreadsheet and do some simple addition.

The blunder does not affect the distribution of the 250 parliamentary seats, which is 184 for Frelimo, 60 for Renamo and six for the MDM.

The diaspora did not vote in the provincial elections. Ten provincial assemblies were elected, and the total results were:

Frelimo 4,153,893 (72.27 per cent)

Renamo 1,309,982 (22.79 per cent)

MDM 253,011 (4.4 per cent)

Others 30,800 (0.54 per cent)

There are 794 seats in the ten assemblies. Frelimo won 628 of them, Renamo 156 and the MDM 10. Frelimo has a majority of over two thirds in all the assemblies.

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