The full bulletin in pdf is on https://bit.ly/Moz-El-159
“A recount of all the polling stations in the municipal elections in the City of Matola” was ordered today (Thursday 19 Oct) by he Matola District Court, upholding an appeal by the Democratic Movement of Mozambique (MDM). Matola is Mozambique biggest city.
The irregularities found, which were the subject of the appeal, cannot be considered minor because “the increase and decrease in the number of voters found does not allow us to ascertain whether the 11,800 votes claimed by the MDM were actually withdrawn.” For the Court, the irregularities jeopardise the freedom and transparency of the process and violate the democratic principle.
Bar Association calls on Election Commission to quit
“We cannot fail to express our deep repudiation of the way these elections have been organised and conducted”, the Mozambican Bar Association said today. It cited “a prior conspiracy to falsify the results”.
“We believe that the President of the National Electoral Commission and his entire team are not in a position to remain in office, after all this imbroglio that has been unleashed and which has met with so little satisfaction from society, not least because the will of the people and electoral transparency are not negotiable,” the Bar Association statement concluded.
The bar association criticises its own judges in the lower courts. “Some courts have been imposing rigid formalities on the process of contesting elections, in some cases reversing the burden of proof. … In the event that the electoral body lacks credible documents on the electoral acts, they must grant the appeal. Electoral justice is one of the basic pillars of democracy, which is why we expect judicial decisions to be more effective.”
The courts have played a central role in exposing the corruption of the elections and forcing recounts and new elections. The Bar Association today patted itself on the back, expressing its “satisfaction with the timely functioning of the judiciary in this ongoing municipal election process”. This represents “a balanced exercise of powers and dissuades practices that could distort democracy and life in society”.
It says that the court rulings are “a relief for the preservation of democracy and democratic institutions.”
“The judiciary is the last stronghold of citizenship because, in addition to being the last to intervene, its decisions are binding and take precedence over those of other authorities, as enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic of Mozambique,” says the Bar Association.
Catholic bishops call for legality to be restored and bloodshed avoided
The Catholic bishops of Mozambique today called on the judiciary to restore legality to electoral processes. According to the Episcopal Council of Mozambique, “there is no legality without truth”.
The bishops believe that the force of law is what will resolve and help overcome any possible manipulation of results and electoral fraud. And they call for reason and ethics to prevail in order to avoid any possibility of bloodshed between brothers.
Renamo unsuccessful in Caia and Chiomio
The Caia District Court, Sofala, dismissing Renamo’s appeal over electoral fraud in almost all of the 33 Caia polling stations. The court claims that Renamo’s accusation was accompanied by insufficient evidence to annul the elections. Renamo promises to go to the Constitutional Council.
The Chimoio District Electoral Commission (CDE) has refrained from analysing Renamo’s appeal, saying it did not meet the prior challenge requirement. The CDE states that Renamo did not contest the irregularities at the polling station.