Mozambique: Observers call for extension to voter registration - AIM report
For illustration purposes only. [File photo: DW]
The Mozambican National Resistance (Renamo), the main opposition party in Mozambique, has turned to the Constitutional Council (CC) to challenge the results of the electoral census in Gaza province, southern Mozambique, considering that the numbers were inflated for the benefit of Frelimo, the party in the power.
“The Gaza data is an aberration. The projection they made on the registration came from an already inflated database and, attached to our appeal (to the CC), we have references that prove this,” Renamo representative Venâncio Mondlane’s team explained to Lusa.
The results of the voter registration in Gaza province show that 80% of the population there is over the age of 18, which, according to both specialists and civil society organisations, is a serious error, as the Mozambican population is mostly composed of children and adolescents.
The last three population censuses indicate that on average the proportion of the Mozambican population over 18 years old varies between 48% (1997), 49% (2007) and 45% (2017). Gaza has never had such a high percentage of the population in this age group which, in 2017 stood at 49% in the province, according to the Institute for Social and Economic Studies.
From Renamo’s representative, this alleged error has serious consequences, as it may even have an impact on the adoption of economic and social policies for the southern province.
“This is an attack on the credibility of the state itself,” Mondlane said, adding that Renamo was demanding that the decision validating the Gaza province’s voter registration data be annulled.
“We know there have been other irregularities throughout the process across the country, but this error is serious and should be corrected,” concluded Venancio Mondlane.
Renamo’s appeal, five pages long and with annexes supporting its argument, was submitted to the Constitutional Council on Monday.
The province of Gaza is seen as a bastion of the Liberation Front of Mozambique (Frelimo), the ruling party, which has always been victorious there, with significant differences in electoral lawsuits in that region.
According to the non-governmental organisation Public Integrity Centre (CIP), the first to denounce the alleged error, the irregularity may result in more than 370,000 ‘ghost votes’ favouring the ruling party’s candidate, Filipe Nyusi.
Voter registration for the October elections in Mozambique this year accomplished 80% of initial projections, according to the Technical Secretariat for Electoral Administration.
General elections – legislative, presidential and provincial – are scheduled for October 15, and mark the end of the 2018-2019 electoral cycle, which began with the local elections on October 10 last year.
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