Mozambique elections: Attempted ballot box stuffing in Nampula and Zambezia tarnish quiet start - ...
File photo: Lusa
The Mozambican Episcopal Conference has said that irregularities in the country’s electoral process give legitimacy to opposition claims contesting the results, and that the current scenario could endanger peace and reconciliation.
“All of this may undermine the process initiated in the search for effective peace and reconciliation among all Mozambicans,” a statement from the Episcopal Conference of Mozambique, reads. The bishops met in Matola city, Maputo province. from 6 to 11 November.
Almost all Mozambique’s opposition parties have demanded the annulment of the October 15 ballot, alleging fraud in favour of the Mozambican Liberation Front (Frelimo).
“Deficient voter registration, violence during the election campaign and on the very day of the poll, causing deaths, ballot box stuffing and improperly conducted counting process give legitimacy to those political players who do not accept the results,” the statement reads.
The communiqué adds that there much was expected of these elections, taking place as they did soon after the signing of a peace agreement between the Government and the Mozambican National Resistance (Renamo).
“Being the first after a period of dialogue and reform of the electoral law that brought about significant changes, such elections raised a great expectation in the people. However, having arrived at this stage, when the validation of the results by the Constitutional Council is expected, we see that there is great discontent on the part of the citizens,” the document says.
The election results announced by the National Election Commission gave Frelimo (Mozambique Liberation Front) a large advantage, with its candidate re-elected on the first round for a second term as President, with 73% of the vote.
In parliament, Frelimo captures 184 of the 250 seats, a 73.6% majority, and more than two thirds of the seats needed to approve constitutional changes.
In addition to opposition parties, some of which have already seen their appeals rejected by the Constitutional Council, several observer missions have also raised questions and concerns about voting.
The Mozambican National Election Commission expressed “concern” about “some irregularities”, justifying why it avoided describing the general elections as free, fair and transparent in the announcement of the results.
You are absolutely right @iainlevine — “The Courage of Peace & the Commitment of the Mission”
— Eric Morier-Genoud (@emorier) November 13, 2019
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