Mozambique: Recounts Instead of Secret Changes

Renamo would bar most of the current secret changes by STAEs and electoral commissions, and replace them with recounts. as in most democracies. It proposes: "The District Judicial Court and the Constitutional Council may not, of their own initiative, transfer votes contained in the minutes and editais, and the entire process of ascertaining the electoral truth contained in the minutes and editais must be carried out by recount".

The Constitutional Council last year declared that only it could order new elections in response to misconduct, but Renamo proposes that district courts and the MP could also order recounts and new elections. Any recount would have to be in the presence of a magistrate (see below).

There are two types of recounts. At a polling station it can be recounts of the actual ballots, carried out as a new count, which is already in the law but has never been used. Renamo proposes a re-tabulation of the polling station editais by the district elections commission (CDE), which under the Renamo proposal would have to be done wiithin 48 hours of being ordered by a court of the CC.

In the district tabulation or a re-retabulation, polling station editais being must be shown to each party delegate present to compared it with their own copies. If they don’t match, the party delegate must immediately report what element is not matching. If there is disagreement between two different editais for the same polling station, the case would immediately go to the MP or district court. Renamo proposes that editais for the same polling station which disagree must be compared to check signatures, form numbers, handwriting, and other distinctive signs.

Fake editias are not even considered in the existing law, and last year district courts did not know how to deal with them.

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