Mozambique Elections 170-part 2 – 31 October 2023
The full bulletin in pdf is on https://bit.ly/Moz-El-170-Rep
CNE data shows 1/4 of municipalities had ballot box stuffing or stealing Renamo votes
Fraud is shown in the results announced Thursday (26 October) by the National Elections Commission. In the second part of this investigation, we look at significant ballot box stuffing and stealing votes from Renamo, which we find in 18 municipalities – one quarter of all municipalities.
We do not accept the validity of the Frelimo tsunami announced by the CNE, but in this special report, we take a closer look at the CNE’s own numbers, which we have posted on https://bit.ly/Moz-El-Aut-CNE. In the first part of this investigation we looked at changes made in secret by the CNE. In this part we look at ballot box stuffing and taking votes away from Renamo. In the third part we will show that parallel counts show that Renamo actually won in four big cities – Maputo, Matola, Quelimane and Nampula.
Using the CNE’s own published numbers, find that this serious ballot box stuffing occurred in at least six municipalities. There is a visual way to look at this. The chart below has all 65 municipalities and the two dimensions are the turnout and the % of the valid vote for Frelimo:
We can see that nearly all municipalities are in a square with turnout between 40% and 70% and votes for Frelimo between 40% and 90%. But six muncipalities in the upper right of the chart stand out. The have turnout over 70% and a high Frelimo vote. The two in the upper right corner have a record – Massingir (87% turnout, 97% Frelimo) and Dondo (87% turnout, 78% Frelimo). Massingir in Gaza has always taken pride in having nearly all registered voters cast their ballot for Frelimo, but this has always been recognised as ballot box stuffing. Dondo is notorious for ballot box stuffing in 1998, when there was no opposition because of the Renamo boycott, but when few people turned out, the ballot boxes were stuffed. This has become a habit.
We did a parallel count this year in Marromeu (81% turnout, 80% Frelimo),and we recorded the number of votes on the blackboard, where the score is kept during the count and thus gives the most accurate record. We found that the official editais inflated the vote by more than 3000 compared to the blackboard.
The other three in the upper right corner of the chart are Chitima (84%, 97%), Caia (77%, 87%) and Nyamayubue (77%, 87%).
In all, we estimate that in these six municipalities the Frelimo vote was inflated by more than 17,000. But the point is much larger – we can see that 9% of all municipalities outrageously inflated the Frelimo vote.
The other important fraud that can be seen from CNE figures is making Renamo ballot papers invalid (nulo) by adding an extra mark to the ballot paper, or simply moving votes from Renamo to nulo on the edital. The check for this is to look for municipalities with high percentages of nulos. The most extreme are Isaca with 7.3% and Angoche with 7%. If we look more closely at the CNE results we see nearly all polling stations have between 1.5% and 4.5% invalid votes. But 12 municipalities have nulos of 4.8% or higher, which indicates some false invalidation of votes. In all we find 4,580 votes above 4.5%.
Fraud takes place in individual polling stations. When we looked at individual polling stations in the parallel count for Maputo and Matola, we found 12,500 votes taken from Renamo. (Bulletin 160, 21 Oct) The estimates we are doing here look at entire municipalities so only identify fraud that this so gross and occurs in enough polling stations to obviously affect the municipal results as reported by the CNE. We find 6 municipalities with ballot box stuffing favouring Frelimo and 12 municipalities with ballot papers, probably of Renamo, being declared invalid. But what is shocking is that this level of fraud is shown by the CNE’s own data in 18 municipalities – one-quarter of municipalities.