Mozambique: Arsonists destroy home of MDM member in Tete - AIM report
Paulo Cuinica. [Picture: Savana]
Mozambique’s National Elections Commission (CNE) has guaranteed that by Tuesday the first instalment of the state subsidy for the parties and candidates competing in the 15 October general elections should be available in their accounts.
According to the electoral legislation, the money should have been in the hands of the parties 21 days before the start of the official election campaign. Since the campaign began on 31 August, the money should have been available by 10 August.
But it was not, much to the distress of the two dozen minor parties contesting, who say they are utterly dependent on the state subsidy.
Cited in Tuesday’s edition of the independent newssheet “Mediafax”, CNE spokesperson Paulo Cuinica said the money was transferred last Friday. But transferring money from one bank to another can take three working days – so Cuinica was confident that the money should be in the parties’ accounts by Tuesday.
But he said the CNE ran into some problems with the transfers when it found that not all the parties could supply the information necessary for bank transfers. Four parties did not have a tax number (which is obligatory for all institutions that handle money), and two did not even have a bank account. Cuinica declined to name which parties are so disorganised.
The subsidy from the Mozambican state budget is 180 million meticais (about 2.9 million US dollars, at current exchange rates). This sum breaks down neatly into 60 million meticais for the presidential election, 60 million for the parliamentary election, and 60 million for the election of the ten provincial assemblies.
Clearly the largest slice of this money will go to the three parties which are standing for the presidency, for all the parliamentary constituencies, and for all the provincial assemblies – namely the ruling Frelimo Party, the former rebel movement Renamo, and the Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM).
The money will be disbursed in three instalments. 50 per cent will be made available in the first instalment, and the next two instalments will each be 25 per cent. The second instalment will only be disbursed after the parties concerned have accounted for how they spent the first instalment, and the third only after proof that the second has been spent appropriately.
The parties must present valid proof of expenditure, including invoices and receipts, and only when the CNE is satisfied that these documents are genuine will they receive the later instalments.
The state subsidy can be spent on election propaganda material, on transport, and on bank costs. Parties are forbidden from spending this money on wages, the purchase and repair of vehicles, or the purchase, construction or rehabilitation of buildings.
In addition to this direct financing, the competing parties are also entitled to free broadcasting time on the public media, and to tax exemptions on the import of materials for the election campaign.
The state subsidy is intended to supplement the money which parties raise from their own members and supporters.Source: AIM