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The head of the European Union Election Observation Mission to the October 15 general elections in Mozambique, Ignacio Sánchez Amor, said in Maputo on Saturday that the outcome of the elections should not interfere with peace in the country.
“As for the mix-up that may sometimes exist between the electoral process and the political process, it is obvious that the European Union strongly supports the pacification of the country and a good end to the peace agreement of 6 August,” Sánchez Amor told a press conference in Maputo.
The Mozambican National Resistance (Renamo), the main opposition party, has repeatedly said that the survival of the Peace and National Reconciliation Agreement signed with the Liberation Front of Mozambique (Frelimo) government on August 6 this year depends on free, fair and transparent elections.
Asked by journalists about Renamo’s position, the head of the EU Election Observation Mission said the election process should not function as a bargaining chip in lasting peace in the country.
“Elections are a right of the people. They are not the property of political parties, and democratic elections cannot be held hostage to any party political agenda,” the Spanish MEP said.
Sánchez Amor said that the Mozambican courts should adjudicate in due course on the controversy over voter registration in Gaza province, rejected by Renamo and civil society organisations.
“We think it is very important for confidence in the electoral process that the authorities involved in the operation, especially the Attorney General’s Office, make a timely decision and respond to the unrest that has arisen,” Sánchez Amor said.
The Mozambican National Election Commission (CNE) announced in June that it had registered 1.1 million voters in Gaza province, suggesting that 80% of the population there is over 18, when INE data indicate that there are 836,000 people of electoral age there, 329,000 fewer than the CNE registered voters.
The EU Election Observation Mission to the October 15 general elections in Mozambique on Saturday distributed 32 long-term observers across the provinces to contribute to a “credible, transparent and inclusive electoral process.”
On October 15 this year, 12.9 million Mozambican voters will choose the President of the Republic, 10 provincial governors, 250 deputies of the Assembly of the Republic and members of the provincial assemblies.
The four candidates running for president including current Frelimo head of state and leader Filipe Nyusi, main opposition party leader Ossufo Momade and the leader of the Democratic Movement of Mozambique (MDM), the country’s third largest political party, Daviz Simango.
The candidate of the extra-parliamentary party Action of the United Movement for Integral Salvation (AMUSI), Mário Albino, is also running for the presidency.
There are 26 political parties competing for the legislatures and provinces, but Frelimo, Renamo and MDM are best able withstand the gruelling 45-day electoral campaign in the country’s 11 constituencies, covering a vast national territory and the diaspora.
The next general elections will be the sixth in the country since the introduction of the first multiparty constitution in 1990.Source: Lusa
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