Watch: Renamo denies claims by dissidents - AIM report
File photo: DW
More people have registered in Frelimo strongholds of Gaza and Cabo Delgado than there are voting age adults. This could give Frelimo 12 extra seats in parliament (Assembleia da Republica, AR) – 10 in Gaza and 2 in Cabo Delgado. This will also have an effect in the presidential race in 15 October elections.
Government refusing to register EU observation support agency
Government is refusing to give accreditation to the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA), an intergovernmental organization that supports sustainable democracy and is the channel for European Union support for observation. It is highly unusual not to accredit an intergovernmental agency with 32 member states. Without accreditation, IDEA cannot have bank accounts, hire staff, etc. Nevertheless, “we are keeping our work ongoing, both for IDEA and the EU electoral observation mission,” said EU press officer Simao Maia this afternoon.
It looks increasingly as if some in Frelimo are trying to prevent observation of the registration and election. Accreditation of observers, which should be automatic, has been made very slow and difficult by district elections commissions. And the Foreign Ministry is now refusing to accredit an intergovernmental body that supports observation.
Registration same as past years
Registration through Sunday was 63% of the target. If registration continues at the same level for the remaining 10 days, that would mean 82% of the target for this year was registered. But 6.8 million people, half of potential voters, were registered last year. We estimate that 6 million will register this year. The combined total of 12.9 million voters is 91% of voting age adults (over 18 on polling day), almost identical to previous years. For the 2014 election 89% registered and in 2009 it was 90%.
Registration continues until 30 May. Our projection assumes that registration in the last 11 days continues at the same rate as in the first 35 days.
The lowest registration (79%) is in Niassa where half of members of the AR elected in 2014 are opposition. Nampula, with an opposition majority, registered only 84%. We predict three provinces will register 85% of voting age adults: Sofala, which has a large opposition majority in 2014, and Inhambane and Maputo province, which had large Frelimo majorities in 2014.
Zambezia, which has an opposition majority and has been beset by problems during registration, has above average registration. Nevertheless we predict it will lose 6 AR seats.
Frelimo boost in Gaza and Cabo Delgado
The number of voting age adults in each province and district was estimated from the 2017 census. Both Gaza (108%) and Cabo Delgado (104%) registered more people than the census said were eligible to vote. These were the two provinces that had the highest Frelimo majorities in 2014. The difference could be significant in a close presidential election. Taken together, the number registered above the 91% average is 300,000 voters, which is 2.7% of the total Mozambican electorate. In a close race, that could be enough votes to prevent a second round in the presidential race.
In previous elections, rural Gaza has been a centre of ballot box stuffing. In these Frelimo strongholds, Renamo is prevented from having its party representatives <delegados> in some polling stations which then report impossibly high turnouts, over 95%, with everyone voting for Frelimo. This could be combined with the questionably high registration levels to improperly boost the Frelimo vote for President Filipe Nyusi.
There are three tables below:
1. Registration levels at 19 May and projections for total registration
2. Combining 2018 and 2019 registration and projecting final totals
3. Change in parliament seat numbers and 2014 election results
STAE actions to speed registration
In the past week, STAE has increased the level of registration to 131,153 voters per day, and this should mean more people being registered in the final days, explained Claudio Langa, STAE spokesperson. He also said that they have added a second registration computer, known as a Mobile ID, in some posts which have a high turnout.
Opposition accuses Frelimo of sabotage in Sofala
Threats to opposition party observers, registering non-existent people, and intentional equipment faults have marked the registration in Sofala, according to the opposition..
“Many people want to register but cannot because of problems with the computer and lack of printer toner and batteries” said the Renamo spokesperson in the Sofala provincial parliament, Sebastiao Mortal. There are particular problems in Buzi, Caia, Marromeu and Gorongosa, he said.
“There are districts with no opposition party observers because of intimidation,” said the MDM spokesperson in the provincial assembly, Rosalina Macate.
In Buzi, neighbourhood secretaries in Guara Guara and Inharongue have been instructed to collect voters cards, according to MDM party agent Alexandre Vaz. This was reported to STAE and the police, and the local STAE director, Miguel Chefinha, called on the neighbourhood secretaries to stop the practice.
Hundreds waiting for voters cards
Many registration posts are continuing to register voters even if they cannot print the voter’s cards, due to lack of printer toner or the printer not working. In Marracuene, Maputo province, at no cards have been printed at EPC 2 de Fevereiro, in Bobole, since the second week. Five hundred voters are now waiting for their cards.
In Mopeia, Zambezia, at EP2 da Localidade de Calali and EP2 de Gumaliua, there has never been paper to print the cards, so no cards have been issued since the start of registration.
By Joseph HanlonSource: 2019 General Elections - Mozambique Political Process Bulletin