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A diplomatic disagreement

The government is unhappy with diplomats expressing their views on the local elections, on the eve of results being announced

Today’s front pages in Maputo. Photo credit: Faizal Chauque / Zitamar News

Good afternoon. If the Mozambican government and the leadership of ruling party Frelimo feel insecure about their claimed victories in last month’s local elections, foreign minister Verónica Macamo has sought to hide this with a show of bravado in front of foreign diplomats yesterday. Addressing them on the topic of the local elections, Macamo insisted that there was nothing to worry about, despite the widespread and well-documented reports of fraud and malpractice; that Mozambicans could sort out any problems themselves; and that diplomats should not interfere in Mozambique’s internal affairs.

From the Zitamar Live Blog:

Zitamar Mozambique Live Blog
Mozambique’s Council of Ministers approved on Tuesday the government’s energy transition strategy, which ministers are expected to present at the United Nations’ COP 28 climate change conference, which begins in Dubai on Friday. According to a statement, the strategy aims to privilege the use of cl…
Zitamar Mozambique Live Blog
🗳 The Constitutional Council, the court with the ultimate authority on election results, is due to announce the final results of Mozambique’s local elections tomorrow at 11am. The results announced by the National Elections Commission last month gave victory to ruling party Frelimo in 64 out of 65…

The context for all this is that tomorrow the Constitutional Council, the court which has the last word on election results, is due to announce final results of the local elections, over one month after they took place. Official results so far give victory to Frelimo in all but one of the 65 municipalities contested, but parallel vote counts by opposition parties and observer groups indicate that Frelimo actually lost in several places, including the capital Maputo. There is considerable evidence that chairs of polling places refused to sign off valid vote counts, that results sheets were forged in favour of Frelimo, and that votes were fabricated or moved from opposition parties to Frelimo. As we reported yesterday, the National Elections Commission, which is supposed to oversee the orderly count of the votes, has been accused of feeding the council with fake results sheets from vote counts.

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