Chairperson of the African Union Commission welcomes peace agreement between Mozambican government ...
Photo: Pinnacle News
Voter registration for the October 15 general elections in Mozambique ends today, with 73% of the expected voters registered by last Sunday.
The Technical Secretariat for Electoral Administration (STAE) set a target of registering seven million voters in the 45-day operation, which began on April 15.
The process ending today covered potential new voters who turned 18 years of age this year, voters who had lost their voting cards, and those who did not register in 2018 for the October 10 municipal elections of that year because they lived outside non-municipal areas.
Voters registered in the operation ending today will join the nearly six million voters registered for last year’s local elections.
The Mozambican National Resistance – Renamo, the country’s main opposition party – accused the Mozambican Liberation Front (Frelimo) government on Tuesday of employing “delaying tactics” in the voter registration process in order to win the general election, demanding the resignation of the director general of the Technical Secretariat of the Electoral Administration (STAE).
“It is clear that in organising these fraudulent schemes, Frelimo intends to perpetuate itself in power illegally and illegitimately,” president of Renamo Ossufo Momade told press in a broadcast from the Gorongosa mountain range in central Mozambique.
In Renamo’s view, voter registration was marked by irregularities and should consequently be extended, a demand rejected by the electoral bodies.
Among the irregularities, the main opposition party in Mozambique highlights the “deliberate late start” of the voter registration especially in Renamo strongholds in Mozambique’s central and northern provinces.
“There has also been criminal promotion of double registration of public officials, especially teachers and nurses, through manipulation and blackmail, allegedly to keep their jobs,” Momade added.
These alleged irregularities call into question the “legitimate and constitutional right of Mozambicans to be elected and to elect their representatives”.
Renamo also demanded the immediate dismissal of STAE Director General Felisberto Naife for failing to “defend the noblest interests” of Mozambicans.
Contacted by Lusa, STAE spokesman Cláudio Langa dismissed the possibility of an extension of the voter registration deadline, saying this would upset the electoral calendar.
“The electoral bodies are not considering extending the deadline because this, in addition to shuffling the electoral calendar, involves other costs,” he said, declining to comment on the alleged irregularities reported by Renamo for lack of information.
The general elections – legislative, presidential and provincial – are scheduled for October 15, marking the end of the 2018/2019 electoral cycle, which began with the local elections on October 10 of last year.
ALSO READ: Renamo accuses, STAE deniesSource: Lusa