Mozambique: Renamo DDR, the beginning - report
This does not change the fact that the ruling Frelimo Party won in Tete, and that the head of its list, Cesar de Carvalho, will become mayor of Tete. Picture: In file CoM
For the first time, Mozambique’s main opposition party, the former rebel movement Renamo, has won, in part, an appeal against the results of the 10 October municipal elections.
In the western city of Tete, Renamo had complained to the City Court that, in announcing the results, the Tete Elections Commission had left out 2,205 votes. It backed up its claims with copies of the results sheets from what it said were 184 Tete polling stations, and compared the Commission’s count of the result with its own, parallel count.
The court did not question Renamo’s arithmetic, but threw out the appeal on the grounds that the votes in question were not enough to substantially change the results. Renamo then appealed to the Constitutional Council, Mozambique’s highest body in matters of constitutional and electoral law.
The Council disagreed with the Tete court that votes could be discarded simply because there were not enough of them to alter the final results. It believed that the votes should be counted correctly.
So the Council went through the results sheets presented by Renamo, one by one, finding that there were 180 of them and not the 184 claimed by Renamo.
But Renamo was right that the votes had been undercounted. By the Council’s calculations, 852 Renamo votes had disappeared. The count given by the Tete Elections Commission was 32,580 votes and that by the Council was 33,432. Add 145 votes declared invalid at the polling stations, but which the Commission judged were votes intended for Renamo, and the Renamo total comes to 33,577.
The Council found Renamo’s request for all the votes to be counted correctly was perfectly reasonable, and ordered that the missing 852 votes be added to the Renamo total.
This does not change the fact that the ruling Frelimo Party won in Tete, and that the head of its list, Cesar de Carvalho, will become mayor of Tete. But it does force a recalculation of the distribution of seats in the Tete Municipal Assembly, and it is possible that Renamo could win an extra seat at the expense of Frelimo.Source: AIM
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