Mozambique: CNE Must Announce Number of Candidates Before it Knows How Many Voters Registered

The ongoing election law is forcing the CNE to announce the number of candidates that parties must submit before it knows how many people have been registered, according to the calendar it released today. Parliament (Assembleia da Republica) constituencies are provinces and provincial assembly constituencies are districts, and the number of seats depends of number of registered voters. Parties lists must be for the full number of seats of a constituency plus at least three supplementary candidates But the law also requires the number of assentos to be announced 180 days before the election, and the CNE calendar says this announcement will be made by 18 April, before the registration is complete.

The CNE has not said how it will calculate the numbers of seats, and this may require an emergency law change at the next parliament session. Elections are governed by 14 laws and many calendar dates are governed by at least two laws which have all been changed once or twice.

There is a full calendar in Portuguese

The key dates of the calendar announced today are:

15 March-28 April – registration in Mozambique

30 March-28 April – registration in the diaspora

by 18 April – announce number of candidates required

22 April – 7 May – parties register with CNE

30 April-3 May – display registration books

by 3 June – STAE tells CNE registration totals

by 9 June – CNE announces registration totals

by 10 June – present candidates lists to CNE, and presidential signatures to CC

28 July – 3 August – campaign funds given to parties

by 24 August – publish list of polling stations and their register books

24 August – 6 October – campaign

9 October – voting day

by 12 October – district count

by 14 October – provincial count

by 24 October – CNE announces national results

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Observers can register now

The CNE calendar stresses that observer and press credentials are already being issued, and these are valid until final results are announced by the constitutional council.  Registration is by national and provincial elections commissions.

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Parties have 6 weeks to submit candidates

Parties and provincial citizens lists must submit five documents for each candidate, including a no- criminal record certificate that often takes a month to obtain, and certified photocopies of their identity and voters registration cards, which are harder to obtain in rural towns. Frelimo had proposed to the AR that this be reduced to 3 weeks, which the opposition did not accept, and the CNE has allowed 6 weeks, which should be OK. But is not in accordance with the electoral laws which say 2 months for AR and 3 months for provincial assembly..

Citizens lists are allowed in provincial elections, but not for the AR.

Each candidate for president must present at least 10,000 “duly identified” signatures of supporters. Independent candidates with enough signatures are permitted. Signatures are verified by the CC.

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