Mozambique: Constitutional Council Corrects One Mistake, Ignores Another

Maputo — Mozambique's Constitutional Council, the country's highest body in matters of constitutional and electoral law, has corrected one mathematical blunder it made in the election results it announced on 23 December, but has allowed another to stand.

One of the tasks of the Council is to check the results announced by the National Elections Commission (CNE). But a comparison of the CNE results announced on 27 October and those announced by the Council on 23 December shows that they are identical.

Far from undertaking careful verification, the Council simply copied and pasted the CNE's results. For the Presidential election, those results were:

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).

Some of the Mozambican media, including AIM, pointed this mistake out in October, and again when it was repeated by the Constitutional Council in December.

Clearly somebody drew the Council's attention to the blunder, since on its website the Council has now altered the result to include the disapora. The result given by the Council is now:

Filipe Nyusi (Frelimo) 4,639,172 (73.46 per cent) Ossufo Momade (Renamo) 1,356,786 (21.48 per cent) Daviz Simango (MDM) 273,599 (4.33 per cent) Mario Albino (Amusi) 46,048 (0.73 per cent)

This change was made in complete secrecy, with no public acknowledgement that the presidential result had been altered. The Council's ruling on the election results, keeps the same name and number ("Ruling no. 25/CC/2019, of 22 December").

So only those who have a copy of the results that Council Chairperson Lucia Ribeiro read out on 23 December would know that a change had been made.

The Council failed to notice that an identical mistake was made in the parliamentary vote. Here too the CNE omitted the two diaspora constituencies, and the Council copied the blunder.

The CNE/Constitutional Council parliamentary result (without the diaspora) is:

Frelimo 4,195,072 (70.78 per cent) Renamo 1,346,009 (22.71 per cent) MDM 251,347 (4.24 per cent)

The results including the diaspora are:

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.

If the Council could not be bothered to correct a simple mathematical mistake, it can be no surprise that it took no action against the many irregularities and frauds reported - most notably the phoney results sheets from several districts (particularly in Gaza and Tete province) claiming impossibly high turnouts.

In an election where the national turnout was about 52 per cent, it is clearly absurd that Chicualacuala and Chigubo districts in Gaza claimed a turnout of 95.88 and 95.25 per cent. Yet this elicits nothing but silence from either the CNE or the Constitutional Council.

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