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The cyclone and flooding that hit central Mozambique have seriously compromised preparations for the presidential, parliamentary and provincial elections scheduled for 15 October.
According to Thursday’s issue of the independent daily “O Pais”, the Electoral Administration Technical Secretariat (STAE) has suspended the training of voter registration brigades. The registration was scheduled to run from 1 April to 15 May, but with large areas of central Mozambique now under water, that looks impossible.
STAE also cancelled the start of its voter education campaign. Thus the electoral timetable has been thrown out of joint, although so far nobody has proposed postponing the elections.
The National Elections Commission (CNE) had hoped that 13 million citizens would register during the voter registration campaign. But in the wake of cyclone Idai, people in four of the country’s eleven provinces – Sofala, Manica, Tete and Zambezia – are battling to obtain basic necessities, such as food and clean water, and the October elections are unlikely to be uppermost in their minds.
STAE did not suggest when training of the brigades or the voter education campaign would begin, but merely announced that they have been “suspended until further notice”.
This follows the decision by the country’s parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, to postpone the plenary sessions initially scheduled for Thursday and Friday, so that parliamentary deputies can visit their flood-hit constituencies.
The Assembly’s agenda is dominated by bills on decentralisation, and without these new laws it will be impossible to hold the planned direct election of provincial governors in October.Source: AIM
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