24 October 2023
Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition and SAPSN Urge Authorities in Mozambique to Fully Comply with Principles of Election Management as they Finalise the 2023 Municipal Elections
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (the Coalition) and the Southern African People’s Solidarity Network (SAPSN) note the ongoing announcement of results following the Municipal Elections held in Mozambique on 11 October 2023. While the country awaits the final results, early results indicate that the ruling party, Liberation Front of Mozambique (FRELIMO), has won all but one municipality, with a smaller opposition party, the Democratic Movement of Mozambique (MDM), maintaining its majority in Beira.
On 19 October, the Mozambican National Resistance Party (RENAMO) boycotted the opening of Parliament in protest over alleged electoral fraud in the municipal elections, accusing the country's National Elections Commission of changing results and presenting counterfeit result slips that overturned victories for RENAMO in favour of FRELIMO in parts of the country.
According to New24, RENAMO leader Ossufo Momade claims that his party has evidence that it won in at least nine municipalities including Maputo and the neighbouring cities of Matola, Nampula, Quelimane, Vilanculo, and Marracuene. RENAMO Spokesperson, José Manteigas, reportedly told the press that his party would only go back to Parliament after "the restoration of electoral truth."
Meanwhile, a Mozambican court has ordered a recount in Matola municipality following protests over what the main opposition called a “mega-fraud.”
Given the foregoing, we call upon the National Elections Commission, local courts, and the Constitutional Council to take all complaints of irregularities seriously and to act on them swiftly and impartially. The announcement of all election results must be characterised by transparency, accountability and verifiability. We reiterate that as a SADC member state, Mozambique is obligated to embrace and uphold democratic principles and practices governing credible elections in line with SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections, and the African Charter on Democracy Elections and Governance.
Following the clashes between the police and protesters in different parts of the country and the death of a 16-year-old boy who was shot and killed by police in the district of Chiure in Cabo Delgado province; we call upon the Mozambican authorities to urgently end police abuse and to hold those responsible to account. As the country awaits the official results of the elections and tensions rise, we urge authorities to be vigilant, prevent any further violence and police abuses while upholding the right to peaceful protest and expression.
It is also critical that the National Elections Commission accommodates and articulates available dispute resolution mechanisms in a service minded manner. While disputes may be inevitable, how they are managed will go a long way in contributing towards a credible electoral process, and in managing some of the tensions that are already threatening the peace and security of an already fragile nation.
We encourage the National Elections Commission and all key election stakeholders to work on restoring public confidence and trust by improving any lacking parts towards free, fair and credible elections, especially as the country heads towards next year’s Presidential Elections. Elections are the bedrock of a democracy and good governance and they can only be meaningful if they meet minimum standards of which integrity is key.
FOR ANY COMMENTS, PLEASE CONTACT:
Janet Zhou, SASPN Secretary General, email@example.com
Blessing Vava, Director, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, +263 77 302 2456