The chairperson of Mozambique's National Elections Commission (CNE), Abdul Carimo, has called on all those involved in the general election scheduled for Oct 15, including the police, to make every effort to ensure that all citizens can participate freely in the election, as well as in the official election campaign, due to begin on Aug 31.
Stressing that all Mozambicans should work to ensure that the elections
were free, fair, transparent and orderly, he told a gathering of
representatives of the political parties whihc will compete in the
elections here Wednesday: "We want this year's elections to be a moment
of festivity, of exaltation of our Mozambican identity and of our young
Carimo was particularly concerned to discuss with the parties the role
of their polling station monitors, of the polling station staff and of
the police. For all these groups, the CNE has drawn up codes of conduct,
based on the electoral law.
Carimo made it clear that the political party representatives had the
right to lodge complaints, protests and appeals at all stages of the
voting and vote-counting, starting at the polling station in the area
where they are accredited.
The provincial, district and city elections commissions must issue
credentials for the parties' polling station monitors up to three days
prior to voting day.
The monitors can be appointed for a polling station different from one
where they registered as voters, as long as it is in the same
geographical voter registration area.
In order to be accredited as a monitor, any citizen must prove that he
or she is a registered voter. This is normally through presentation of a
voter card. In the event that the voter card has been mislaid, it can
be replaced by a registration certificate issued by the CNE's executive
body, the Electoral Administration Technical Secretariat (STAE).
The monitors have the right to inspect all stages of the voting and the
counting, including verifying the polling booths and the ballot boxes
before voting begins, requesting explanations from the polling station
staff, and presenting protests at anything they regard as improper.
A major change in the electoral legislation is that no polling station
monitor can be arrested, even if caught in the act of committing a
crime, until after the count at the polling station has concluded. This
change was included after arbitrary detentions of monitors from the
opposition Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM) during the municipal
elections held last November.
Despite the codes of conduct, opposition parties remain sceptical about
the role of the police, who they accuse of acting at the behest of the
ruling Frelimo Party.
The election agent of the former rebel movement, Renamo, Andre Magibire,
said there was little new in the codes of conduct. According to
Thursday's issue of the independent newssheet Mediafax, he pointed out
that similar provisions had been included in previous codes of conduct
and had been ignored by the police.
Carimo said the police had been trained in the electoral legislation so
that they would respect the norms, and perform their duties correctly.
"That's why I ask you to be optimistic," he told the parties. "You must
understand that the success of these elections depends on the
involvement of all of us, including the political parties
Source: Agência de Informação de Moçambique