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One last chance to save democracy

The National Elections Commission has failed to stand up to electoral fraud, leaving the job to the Constitutional Council

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

Good afternoon. Today brings the depressing but not surprising news that the National Elections Commission (CNE) has approved the official results of the local elections on 11 October, in which ruling party Frelimo is supposed to have won 64 out of 65 municipalities. This despite the widespread and well-documented evidence of fraud and wrongdoing all over the country, and of a conspiracy by Frelimo to rig the vote in places where it could not otherwise win.

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From the Zitamar Live Blog:

Zitamar Mozambique Live Blog
🗳 The National Election Commission (CNE) voted on Wednesday to approve all the results of the municipal elections held on 11 October, which will be announced at 15:00 today in Maputo, the Centre for Public Integrity has reported. Ruling party Frelimo’s eight members of the 15-person commission vo…

Ever since it officially became a multiparty democracy in the 1990s, Mozambique has been torn between pluralism and single-party authoritarianism. Do public bodies serve Frelimo, or do they have an ethos of public service? This tension has been obvious throughout the two weeks since the election, when different public institutions have faced in different directions. District elections commissions have appeared to be doing Frelimo’s bidding, but some commission members have complained of not being consulted on decisions, and district courts have overturned some election results where they found evidence of malpractice. State-controlled newspaper Notícias has been non-committal, saying that the courts should be allowed to consider complaints about the election. The CNE previously issued a statement criticising the chairs of polling stations for refusing to hand over results of vote counts; but now, thanks to Frelimo’s votes on the commission, it has followed the party line.

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