Renamo members discovered two weeks late that the Constitutional Council (CC) had been asking the National Elections Commission (CNE) for original results sheets (editais) from polling stations. All the CC requests were grabbed by Frelimo CNE members, and by the time opposition members discovered, all the editais from the municipalities had already been sent to the CC.
Renamo CNE members in a 16 November letter asked the Constitutional Council to consider the documents sent by the CNE, without their knowledge, as "forgeries, fakes and with no legal effect", because "they were dealt with outside of the legal functioning of the National Elections Commission".
"We don't recognise these documents", they added, "since they bear signs of electoral fraud by the CNE".
For two weeks, the Frelimo members on the CNE, without the knowledge of the opposition representatives on the same body, sent the editais and polling station minutes demanded by the CC. When opposition members became aware of this, they complained to CNE chair Bishop Carlos Matsinhe. He said he also did not know about the demands, because they arrived during his absence in Benin.
The CC notices were received by the deputy chair of the CNE, Carlos Cauio, representing Frelimo, and he did not share them with the other Deputy Chair, Fernando Mazanga, of Renamo.
It so happened that on the day when Renamo complained to Carlos Matsinhe, 15 November, another dispatch had just arrived from the CC which gave the CNE 48 hours to send 39 editais and minutes from Quelimane. Matsinhe shared this immediately, and Renamo saw the dispatch said this was "in addition to notifications previously made". It was then that Renamo confirmed there had been earlier requests.
An investigation by CIP Eleições shows that the first dispatch was dated 30 October, four days after the announcement of the results by the CNE, and was signed by Manuel Franque, a judge of the Constitutional Council appointed by Renamo.
In this dispatch, the Constitutional Council gave the CNE 48 hours to send "the original editais and minutes from the 41 polling stations of the Marromeu municipality for the purposes of analysis during the validation procedure". Those editais had been sent to the Constitutional Council by the Frelimo members without the knowledge of the representatives of the opposition, either at provincial or central level.
On 1 November, while Renamo was concentrating on organising demonstrations protesting against the election results divulged on 26 October, the Constitutional Council requested, in a note sent to the CNE,editais and minutes within five days from a further five municipalities: namely Xai-Xai (Gaza), Marromeu (Sofala), Chiure (Cabo Delgado), Guruè and Maganja da Costa (Zambézia). Once again, the document was received and replied to by the Frelimo members at central level and in the provincial elections commissions.
The third request, shown by Matsinhe to Renamo, was for the Quelimane editais.
A fourth request, on 15 November, was for editais from Matola City, Matola-Rio (Maputo province), Nlhamankulu, Kampfumo and KaMavota (Maputo city), Alto Molócue and Maganja da Costa (Zambézia), and Angoche and Mozambique Island, in Nampula.
A fifth request on 17 November was for editais and minutes from the Ka Maxaquene Municipal District in Maputo City within 24 hours.
The seven representatives of the opposition on the CNE on Thursday 16 November sent a letter to the Constitutional Council contesting what had been happening on the body of which they are part. In the letter, Renamo says it was taken by surprise by the "correspondence between the Constitutional Council and the National Elections Commission", concerning the editais from the municipal elections of 11 October. They asked the chairperson of the Constitutional Council to regard the minutes and editais sent by the CNE, without their knowledge, as "inadmissible and illegal".
Conflict of interest:
Minister who is also Frelimo election agent calls diplomatic corps for clarification about the elections
The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Veronica Macamo, has called the diplomatic missions accredited in Mozambique to a meeting tomorrow (Wednesday 22 Nov) seeking "to share information about the sixth municipal elections".
But Verónica Macamo is also the current election agent of the Frelimo Party - in particularly fraudulent elections - and hence she is an interested party. Thus the Minister is using her post to share information about an election in which she and her party are accused of being the main actors in the manipulation of the results.