Maputo, 12 Aug (AIM) – Of the 31 political parties, coalitions and independent citizens’ groups that registered to participate in Mozambique’s municipal elections, scheduled for 11 October, 22 submitted their nomination papers to the National Elections Commission (CNE) by the deadline of Friday.
11 of these are political parties, three are coalitions of small parties, and eight are independent groups. Only the ruling Frelimo Party, and the two main opposition forces, Renamo and the Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM) are standing candidates in all 65 municipalities.
None of the other parties have any representation in the current municipal or provincial assemblies, let alone in the national parliament, the Assembly of the Republic. Most of them have no publications, not even a website.
The CNE must now check the nominations of all the candidates, document by document, to ensure that they are in accordance with the electoral legislation, and that each candidate is eligible.
There are thousands of documents to be checked, and the CNE only has until next Wednesday, 16 August to complete this task. A plenary session of the CNE will then be held to decide on the definitive acceptance or rejection of candidates.
Rejected candidates can appeal against the CNE’s decision between 18 and 20 August. Those who are still not satisfied can appeal to the Constitutional Council, the highest body in matters of constitutional and electoral law. Such appeals must be made by 23 August.
Between 29 and 31 August, lots will be drawn for positions on the ballot papers, and for broadcasting time on the public radio and television stations.
The election campaign will run from 26 September to 8 October. No campaigning is allowed in the two days prior to the vote.
A CNE release also announced that it is concerned about the proliferation of “fake news”. With funding from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the CNE will adopt the UN’s “E-Monitor” platform to allow “a detailed analysis of information published by the media about the elections, in order to identify malicious trends, including hate speech, which might negatively affect the electoral process”.
The CNE says it will implement this platform in partnership with the Mozambican chapter of the regional press freedom body, MISA (Media Institute of Southern Africa).