NGOs call for de-politicisation of Mozambique’s election authority


Mozambique’s election authority “should have a more professional composition to allow a more rigorous interpretation of the law” and avoid taking politically-motivated decisions, according to a consortium of civil society organisations observing the electoral process in the country.

The group, called Votar Moçambique, on Friday called on the Constitutional Council to consider reinstating the Renamo candidate, Venancio Mondlane, and the AJUDEM candidate list, headed up by Frelimo rebel Samora Machel Jr., after they were excluded by the National Election Commission (CNE) on technical grounds.

The CNE’s highest decision making organ is made up of members nominated by the three political parties with representation in parliament – Frelimo, Renamo, and the MDM – and by people nominated by civil society. The decisions to exclude Mondlane and AJUDEM came after votes which split broadly on party lines – with Renamo voting to allow them to stand, and Frelimo and the MDM voting to exclude them.

“The CNE can’t be a political institution,” Baltazar Fael, a researcher at NGO the Centre for Public Integrity (CIP) and spokesman for Votar Moçambique, said at a press conference on Friday. “Making decisions as a function of the vote creates opportunities for revenge between parties, and more.”

Political scientist Régio Conrado told Zitamar News he agrees that the CNE should be reformed to become more independent. “What makes the CNE untransparent is its internal structure,” he said, adding that making it independent would “only be possible by a recomposition” of the organisation.

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