Mozambican candidate’s name left off ballot paper

Mozambique’s National Elections Commission (CNE) went into emergency session on Wednesday morning to decide what to do about the accidental omission of the name of a mayoral candidate from the ballot paper in the northern city of Nampula.

Four candidates were registered for the Nampula election – Absalao Sueia, of the ruling Frelimo Party, Mahamudo Amurane of the opposition Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM), Mario Albino of ASSEMONA, a breakaway from the MDM, and Filomena Mutoropa of the Mozambique Hymanitarian Party (PAHUMO).

Mutoropa was amazed and upset when she arrived at her polling station at 07.00, to find that there were only three names on the ballot paper. Her name had been omitted, and it seemed that all her campaigning work had been in vain.

Felisberto Naife, the general director of the Electoral Administration Technical Secretariat (STAE), the CNE’s executive body, told AIM that the CNE had decided to hold an emergency meeting, and a decision on what measures to take should be issued later in the morning.

PAHUMO is a party recently set up by Cornelio Quivela, a former parliamentary deputy for the country’s largest opposition party, Renamo.

Naife was surprised to hear a report that about 90 per cent of the observers from the Electoral Observatory in the central city of Beira had not received their credentials by the time the polls opened, and so were unable to enter the polling stations.

The Electoral Observatory is a coalition of the country’s main religious denominations (Catholic, Protestant and Moslem) and several NGOs, including the Human Rights League (LDH). It is by far the largest and most credible election observation body in the country.

Naife promised that he would contact the Beira City Elections Commission to see what was going on.

Meanwhile reports from across the country point to wide variations in turnout – in some place, by late morning there were still long queues at the polling stations, whereas in other municipalities (notably the town of Manhica, in Maputo province), the polling stations were virtually deserted.

Post published in: Africa News

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