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DW (File photo) / The registration this year is not national, but only in districts and the 53 cities which will have municipal elections in October.
Registration starts in two weeks
Voter registration for the 10 October 2018 municipal elections and Octoberber 2019 national elections starts on 1 March and will continue through April. Civic education for the registration begins tomorrow, 14 February.
The law requires an entirely new registration of each 5-year electoral cycle, so all voters must register again even if they have voters cards from past registrations – the old voters card will no loner be valid.
The registration this year is not national, but only in districts and the 53 cities which will have municipal elections in October. CNE expects to register 8 million people. There will be a national registration next year. These new voters cards are valid for both local elections this year and national elections next year.
In December 2017 the CNE did an experimental mock registration in 9 districts and 3 provinces to test equipment left over from the 2013/14 registration. The experience showed much of it has not survived and will be unable to be used in this registration. Brigade members also showed that they were poorly trained. It was taking 6 to 8 minutes to register a voter, three times as much as STAE expects.
Nampula still unclear
Registration takes place in all districts and municipalities where there will be local elections in October, which will include Nampula. But the Constitutional Council still has not ruled on the first election, and the second round must take place within 30 days of that ruling – surely during the registration period – unless a decision is taken to not hold the second round as mayoral elections are being abolished.
A second round will be confusing, because voters will have to use their 2013/14 voters cards, and not their new ones.
In his statement announced the opening of the registration education campaign, CNE President Sheik Abdul Carimo Sau did not mention Nampula and did not take questions from the press afterwards.
CNE wants “0 abstentions”
Faced with turnout of less than half in recent elections, the civic education campaign for registration will call for “0 abstentions”, the CNE president Sheik Abdul Carimo Sau said in a press conference today, 13 February. It is an ambitious goal, because in elections in the last 10 years (2008, 2009, 2013, 2014) turnout has always been below 49% – and in the Nampula by election in January it was below 25%.
“The objectives of this campaign are to inform the voter of the value of his or her vote,” Carimo said. The CNE wants “to help them recognize the importance of participation in the elections” and also link elections to peace, harmony and tolerance.
For the 24 January Nampula by-election, there was no government or CNE publicity because there was no budget.
By Joseph HanlonSource: Mozambique Political Process Bulletin