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The fact that the electoral registers were not updated for the Nampula mayoral by-election may jeopardise its validation, the Centre for Public Integrity (CIP) has suggested, based on the opinion of lawyers.
“Could the Constitutional Council reject the midterm election in Nampula on the basis of the fact that citizens who are currently 18, 19 and 20 years old – certainly more than 10,000 people – have been banned from exercising their right to vote?” the governance non-governmental organisation asks in a local elections bulletin released on Wednesday.
The vote to elect a new mayor after Mahamudo Amurane was shot dead in October 2017 took place on January 24, and none of the candidates won more than 50 percent of the vote, which should lead to a second round of voting.
According to the official results presented by the CNE last week, the Liberation Front of Mozambique (Frelimo) candidate Amisse Cololo obtained 44.5 percent of the votes, followed by the National Resistance Mozambican (Renamo) candidate Paulo Vahanle with 40.32 percent.
A National Election Commission (CNE) source told Lusa on Wednesday that the results were sent to the Constitutional Council for validation, and the council’s ruling was now awaited.
The CIP notes that there are two conflicting interpretations of the law.
On the one hand, “voter registration is valid for the five years of an electoral cycle”, this being the argument used by the CNE and the Council of Ministers to argue that it was not necessary to update the census ” for the Nampula by election, says CIP.
On the other hand, the law also says that “every citizen over the age of 18 has the right to register and vote”.
Additionally, in previous by-elections in Quelimane, Cuamba, Pemba and Inhambane, the voting register was updated, the NGO adds, which leaves open the question of what will happen.
The law provides that “after deliberating on complaints or appeals”, the Constitutional Council shall “consider the minutes and the announcement of the general election results” for the “purposes of validation and proclamation”.Source: Lusa