Mozambique Political process Bulletin/allAfrica
Mozambique: Divided CNE Declares Frelimo Victory
By Joseph HanlonThe National Elections Commission (CNE) approved the results of the 15 October election giving victory to Filipe Nyusi as president with 57% of the vote and Frelimo with 144 of 250 seats in parliament.
The results are close to those predicted by the parallel sample count.
But in a meeting which ran from 11.30 am yesterday to 4 am this morning, the CNE split and only approved the results by a vote 10-7, with opposition nominees and some civil society voting against. Renamo today filed a formal protest.
The CNE was required by law to report today, but it admits that it is continuing its investigations into a wide range of complaints including late opening of polling stations, conflicting numbers in different copies of some results sheets (editas), suspected ballot box stuffing, reports of pre-marked ballots in circulation, and opposition ballots improperly made invalid by polling station staff (MMVs) They also say that some editais were missing, but do not identify how many.
Renamo in a statement Tuesday in Beira said it won the election and had won more than 139 seats in parliament. MDM in a statement this afternoon rejected the results. Both said they rejected the election because misconduct was too widespread.
In a meeting with civil society, Renamo candidates Afonso Dhlakama said he had a large file of evidence of misconduct which he would submit to the Constitutional Council but refused to show it civil society or the media. In his meeting with civil society, Dhlakama called on his members to oppose the result, but not to resort to violence.
And Dhlakama continues to call for a neutral government of technocrats or a government of national unity for at least two years.
Turnout in the election was 48.64%. Results for president are:
Filipe Nyusi 2,761,025 – 57.03% Afonso Dhlakama 1,762,260 – 36.61% Daviz Simango 306,884 – 6.36%
Frelimo 144 Renamo 89 MDM 17
Total seats in the 10 provincial parliaments:
Frelimo 485 Renamo 295 MDM 31
A total of 754,113 ballot papers considered invalid at polling stations were sent to Maputo and reconsidered by the CNE, and 174,614 were accepted as valid. This means 23% were accepted, which is higher than in previous elections. In addition, of 466 protested votes, 323 were accepted as valid.
By comparison, the 2009 results were:
President: Armando Guebuza 75.01% Afonso Dhlakama 16.41% Daviz Simango 8.59%
Parliament Frelimo 191 Renamo 51 MDM 8
All Renamo and MDM complaints rejected by district courts
Only 24 complaints were made by political parties to district counts about the elections. Only one, by Frelimo relating to Tsanago, Tete, was accepted. All others were rejected for lack of evidence or for being more than 48 hours after the relevant result was announced, explained Supreme Court judge Pedro Nuatitima at a press conference Thursday morning. “The courts can only work with proof and not with allegations,” he explained. Most of the rejected complaints came from Renamo and MDM.
Relating to Tsangano, Tete, where Renamo militants destroyed some polling stations and stopped and prevented voting, the district court ordered the National Elections Commission (CNE) to hold elections in those polling stations later. But the CNE says it only needs to do so if the missing polling stations could make a difference to the result.
Under law changes agreed earlier this year in negotiations with Renamo, any complaints about electoral misconduct are made first to the district court. And complaints were made demanding recounts, challenging numbers, claiming there were false results sheets (editais), and that polling stations had not opened. But according to Nuatitima, Renamo was not able to meet the rules it put into the law. It often failed to provide any evidence of its claims, and many were submitted after the 48 hour deadline. At least four of the rejections have been appealed to the Constitutional Council.
Judge Nuatitima also told the press conference that so far the supreme count knows of 374 people being judged for electoral crimes by district tribunals during the campaign and voting. Of those, 129 have been acquitted, 133 convicted and sentenced to punishments ranging from fines to one year in jail, and 112 processes are still under way.
The largest number of people charged were in Nampula (98), Tete (82), Mancia (58) and Zambezia (53). About 70% of those charged were accused of damaging campaign material of other parties. On polling day 15 people were charged with disrupting polling stations and 6 people were charged with multiple voting.
Nuatitima noted that violence in several cities after voting ended, even if it was during the counting process, has been treated as common crimes, and not as electoral crimes.