Watch: Verónica Macamo speaks out on Mercedes for MPs
O País / CNE chairman Abdul Carimo
Mozambique’s National Elections Commission (CNE) on Wednesday urged all political parties who wish to participate in the municipal elections scheduled for 10 October 2018 to comply with the deadlines for registration and for submitting their candidates’ nomination papers.
Speaking in Maputo at the first meeting in this electoral cycle between the CNE and the political parties, CNE chairperson Abdul Carimo stressed that parties must obey the deadlines set down in the electoral legislation.
“Political parties have a particular responsibility to comply with the law”, said Carimo. “You should look constantly at the electoral timetable to ensure that you comply with the deadlines”.
Currently, the 11 provincial election commissions are being formed, and this must conclude by 3 June. Then the district and city elections commission must be formed by 3 July.
This is a cumbersome and heavily politicized process. All the provincial and district commissions have 11 members. The ruling Frelimo Party appoints three members to each commission, the rebel movement Renamo appoints two, and the Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM) appoints one. The other five members come from civil society.
The civil society organisations deposit their nominations with the provincial branches of the CNE’s executive body, the Electoral Administration Technical Secretariat (STAE), which then forwards them to Maputo.
The full calendar for the elections is not yet known because the voter registration period has yet to be fixed. At some time between now and October the government, acting on a proposal from the CNE, will announce the registration period. The number of voters who register will determine the number of polling stations needed in each municipality.
In the past, the CNE has been flexible over legal deadlines – much to the annoyance of the Constitutional Council, the body which has the final say in matters of constitutional and electoral law, and which must validate elections results.
This time, Carimo promised, there would be no flexibility for parties that delivered documentation past the deadlines. “We are not going to open exceptions for anyone, and so we are warning you while there is still time”, he said.
Carimo warned the parties against the practice of bringing crowds of their members to the polling stations during the count “to control the vote”. This is illegal and has led to near riots in the past.
Carimo pointed out that all parties registered to take part in the elections are entitled to appoint monitors at each and every polling station, whose task is to ensure that no irregular or fraudulent behavior takes place.
He declared that political parties are a key element in maintaining peace and stability. “Our slogan – for free, fair and transparent elections – must prevail”, Carimo insisted.
As for possible changes in the electoral law, he pointed out that the CNE cannot change anything in the current legislation, which was approved by consensus in the Assembly of the Republic in February 2014.
Jose Manuel de Sousa, a parliamentary deputy from the MDM, complained that accreditation of the party polling station monitors should be done by the parties themselves and not by the CNE. But that it not what the law says, and in this matter the CNE’s hands are tied.Source: AIM