15 de outubro de 2014

2014 National Elections Mozambique political process bulletin

Polls closed

Our correspondents report that at the end of voting at 18.00 there were still some polling stations with a few people still to vote, and some only closed at 18.30 or 18.45. A handful of polling stations, including in Moma and Malema, Nampula; Chimoio, Manica; and Mecula, Niassa, had long queues and had to remain open until after 20.00.

Electoral observatory predicts low turnout

The Electoral Observatory said that its observers in 778 polling stations reported that 34% of voters had voted by 14.30. Most people will have voted by that hour. This suggests a turnout similar or below to the 45% in 2009 and 43% in 2004.

STAE says Renamo has taken hostages in Tsangano

Renamo is holding five people hostage, two polling station staff and three police, in Tsangano after the attacks on polling stations this morning, according to the head of Tete STAE (Secretariado Tecnico de Administracao Eleitoral), Lolo Correia, AIM reported this evening. The incident was reported in the mid-day bulletin 58, and there are photos in the attached pdf.

Attacks on polling stations in Angoche

An assault on polling stations in Inguri, Angoche, caused polling station staff to flee and halted the count in some places.

Shots to disperse voters

In Munhava, Beira, at Macombe primary school, the riot police fired tear gas and live ammunition to disperse voters who refused to leave the area after voting.

A similar situation occurred in Nampula city at 12th October secondary school, where voters demanded the right to stay and monitor the process.

Also in Nampula, at Belenes primary school, voters demonstrated when they were unable to vote because the polling stations had no register books. Riot police used tear gas and live ammunition to disperse the crowd.

MDM member shot in Dondo

An MDM member has been hospitalised in Dondo, Sofala, after he was shot by the police. He claimed he was trying to stop the introduction of an already stuffed ballot box.

Electricity cuts

Electricity cuts have been reported this evening in many parts of the country. This means some counts will be done in the dark, which increases the possibility of fraud and error. This, in turn, has exacerbated the sporadic violence by opposition supporters who do not trust the electoral process. Community radio (FORCOM) correspondents report cuts in Homoine, Inhambane; Pemba; Barue, Manica; Nampula; and Lichinga.

Arrest for offering money

Renamo member Xavier Cantaze was arrested for offering 500 meticais to people in a voters queue to vote for Renamo, at Tamuiri primary school, Chiuta, Tete.

Ballot box stuffing - 
  polling station president arrested

There are a growing number of reports of the discovery of ballot papers already marked for Frelimo and which involve polling station staff or other officials.

In Angonia, Tete, Jeremias Atanasio, the president of a polling station in Domue primary school, was arrested when he was found with ballot papers already marked for Frelimo.

In Chidenguele, Gaza, observers caught a new form of ballot box stuffing. They saw a member of an unknown observer group pick up ballot papers from the main table (with the obvious agreement of the polling station staff), and put them into a slot under the booth where voters mark their ballot paper. When an observer went there and took out the ballot papers, he found them marked for Frelimo (see photos in the attached pdf). The idea appears to be that when a Frelimo member who had been warned in advance went to that booth and marked and folded up their ballot papers, they would take extra ballot papers from the slot and fold in extra ones as well, thus putting more than one ballot paper in each box.

In Beira spare ballot boxes have been found.

Meanwhile, there have been several other reports of pre-marked ballot papers being found. In Dondo a reporter for the newspaper Zambezewas attacked and had his camera confiscated after he took pictures showing polling station staff marking ballot papers for Frelimo, and of a teacher putting the extra votes in the ballot boxes. He also filmed a discussion between polling station staff and party members, but has now had his pictures taken away. This was at Eduardo Mondlane primary school.

In Coalane in Quelimane an observer caught a person with 17 pre-marked ballot papers. 

And the Youth Parliament (Parlamento Juvenil, PJ), community radios (o Forum das Radios Comunitarias de Mocambique, FORCOM), the Human Rights League (a Liga Mocambicana dos Direitos Humanos, LDH), the Women's Forum (o Forum Mulher) and the Public Integrity Centre (o Centro de Integridade Publica, CIP) have issued a joint statement in which they say that that "in Quelimane city 4 clandestine ballot boxes were found in a police car registration PRM 00313. Local people say that the ballot boxes were given to two people who left in cars with registrations ACU 173 MC e ADJ 481 MC".

Can polling stations open very late?

We have reported many polling stations which did not open this morning. But CNE spokesman Paulo Cuinica says that all polling stations in Nampula, Nacala, Angoche and Beira opened eventually. But our correspondents report that many only opened in the afternoon, and this appears to be illegal.

According to the electoral law, in the event of any irregularity that stops voting, the polling station staff has only four hours to resolve the problem. If it is impossible to reopen within four hours, the president of the polling station must close it.

Polling stations are supposed to open at 7 am and that means if they cannot open, for example because they do not have a register book, then the problem must be solved by 11 am. Opening in the afternoon would seem to violate the electoral law. And this is sensible, because once people have given up and gone home, it is difficult to tell them in the late afternoon that the polling station is open.

Photos of Tsangano burned ballot papers.

The photos in the attached pdf are from Gumbacere primary school in Tsangano district, Tete. They show burned ballot papers and ballot boxes torn open by Renamo this morning. Details were published in the previous bulletin 58 this afternoon.

Mozambique Political Process Bulletin 
2014 National Elections
Editor: Joseph Hanlon (j.hanlon@open.ac.uk)
Deputy editor: Adriano Nuvunga
News editor: Teles Ribeiro
Reporter: Idalêncio Sitoê
Material may be freely reprinted and circulated. Please cite the Bulletin. Published by: Centro de Integridade Pública, Rua Frente de Libertação de Moçambique (ex-Pereira do Lago), 354 (CP 3266) Maputo  www.cip.org.mz   cip@cip.org.mz Africa
AWEPA, the European Parliamentarians with Africa, Rua Licenciado Coutinho 77 (CP 2648) Maputo  awepa@awepa.org.mz    Tel:+258 21 418 603, 21 418 608, 21 418 626          

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