Mozambique elections: Many not receiving voters cards - By Joseph Hanlon
File photo: DW
Mozambique’s largest opposition party says that starting voter registration on April 15 favours Frelimo, as it will result in “a voter registration deficit” in districts affected by Cyclone Idai.
The Mozambican National Resistance (Renamo), Mozambique’s main opposition party, is unhappy with the new date for the start of the voter registration in Mozambique.
After the passage of Cyclone Idai through the centre of the country, the country’s ruling party, Frelimo, re-scheduled the beginning of the voter registration for October elections for April 15 – Monday of next week – ending thirty days later on May 15.
But Augusto Fernando, head of Renamo’s Organisation and Statistics Department, says that the government is violating electoral law by ignoring the agreement between the political parties, the INGC and the electoral bodies, which was to extend the electoral registration period from 45 to 60 days.
Are the Renamo and MDM disadvantaged?
In an interview with DW Africa, Fernando said that the “15-day delay in the start of voter registration is unclear and obscure because it has the purpose of promoting a voter registration deficit, given that there has been a lot of movement of the population from their main places of housing”.
It should be noted that opposition parties, especially Renamo and MDM, have more sympathisers in most of the districts devastated by Cyclone Idai and its subsequent floods.
Fernando says that Frelimo’s changing the dates of the voter registration period “is aimed at reducing the mandates from the four provinces. In fact, it grossly violates our constitution by deliberately depriving citizens of the right to vote and to be elected”.
For its part, Frelimo, the party that has governed Mozambique since independence, says that the opposition has no reason to complain, since Renamo, like the MDM, are represented in the electoral bodies and that the government only approved a proposal from this body.
Margarida Talapa, head of the Frelimo bench in parliament and of Frelimo’s central assistance brigade in Nampula, says Renamo is unprepared.
“We, the parties with seats in the Mozambican parliament, should not be the first to question deadlines, because the decision-makers and the proposers are the electoral bodies. We, Frelimo, have members on the National Elections Commission, as do both Renamo and the MDM, and we are prepared for any decision,” she says.
Talapa adds that Frelimo “does not see any inconvenience in initiating the electoral census on April 15. I think that this assessment according to which we are not in a position [to start the process] and that we will only be prepared 45 days from now, [shows that] Renamo is probably not prepared for the elections,” she said.
The process of mobilising voters to register began throughout the country this Monday (08-04).Source: Deutsche Welle
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