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Photo: O País
The Chairperson of Mozambique’s National Elections Commission (CNE), Abdul Carimo, on Monday urged all political parties and other groups standing in the municipal elections scheduled for 10 October to behave in a peaceful manner and “avoid confrontation or violence”.
The official election campaign begins on Tuesday and lasts until midnight on 7 October. No campaigning is allowed on the final 48 hours before the election, which are a quiet period in which the voters are supposed to make up their minds.
In an exhortation to the nation on the eve of the start of the campaign, Carimo stressed that the parties and their candidates should “respect the ethical principles of the campaign as laid down in the law and in codes of conduct”.
The parties, he added, should take advantage of this moment “to call for peace, harmony and mutual respect, increasingly consolidating the main spirit of decentralisation, which is peaceful cohabitation”.
He hoped that the candidates and their supporters would raise the awareness of voters “about the true objectives of decentralisation, thus ensuring a massive turnout at the ballot boxes, which is a demonstration of full citizenship”.
They should transmit voter education messages, so that citizens would be aware of the importance of “the exercise of power through voting”.
Carimo reminded parties and candidates that the law forbids the use of state assets (such as publicly-owned vehicles) in election campaign. Also out of bounds for campaigning are schools and places of worship.
Candidates must not use children in their campaigns, he warned, and must not destroy the propaganda materials of their opponents. These offences, all punishable by law, had been common in previous campaigns.
Carimo urged candidates to collaborate with the local authorities and the police, by providing them in advance with information on their campaign plans, and the routes of their motorcades “so as to guarantee security and protection of campaign activities”.
Asked if the CNE has asked the authorities for extra security in the Mocimboa da Praia municipality, in the northern province of Cabo Delgado, where Islamic fundamentalists have committed acts of terrorism, Carimo said “we have received guarantees of full security in all the municipalities, including Mocimboa da Praia”.
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