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Mozambique’s National Elections Commission (CNE) needs 18.7 billion meticais (about 292 million US dollars, at the current exchange rate) for voter registration and other preparations, ahead of next year’s municipal elections and the 2024 general elections.
Speaking in Maputo on Thursday, at a meeting with representatives of political parties, the CNE chairperson, Carlos Matsinhe, said the money was needed to acquire entirely new equipment to be installed in the data processing centres. The servers used in previous elections are no longer manufactured.
Also on the list of expenses are identifying election installations in all the provinces and ensuring that they are adequate, acquiring materials for the pilot registration to be held this year, and for the full municipal registration scheduled for the first quarter of 2023, and installing provincial legal offices.
Some of the equipment used at the thousands of voter registration posts (known as “Mobile-IDs”) is still serviceable, but needs maintenance, while in other cases new equipment must be acquired. Provision must also be made for the accreditation of observers and journalists.
“This is the general situation in terms of the financial requirements for us to manage these elections”, said Matsinhe. “The total for the 2022-2025 electoral cycle is 18.7 billion meticais”.
Of this sum, 3.2 billion meticais should be spent this year, 6.7 million in 2023, and 8.7 million for the general elections of 2024.
The CNE does not have this money. Matsinhe said there have been delays in disbursement of funds by the country’s international partners, which he blamed in part on the Covid-19 pandemic, and in part on the Russian invasion of Ukraine. He believed that some of Mozambique’s main partners preferred to channel their aid to Ukraine.
Matsinhe said that, despite these constraints, everything is being done to comply with the Mozambican electoral calendar.
He urged political parties, civil society organisations and other stakeholders to collaborate so that the elections can go ahead without disruption.
“We are counting on the collaboration and participation of all interested parties at every stage of the elections, from now to the proclamation of the results”, Matsinhe declared.