January 19, 2004

Final results of local elections validated by Constitutional Council

Mozambique's Constitutional Council on 15 January validated the results of the 19 November municipal elections, won overwhelmingly by the ruling Frelimo Party, but severely criticised the mistakes and illegalities committed by the body in charge of the elections, the National Elections Commission (CNE). The Constitutional Council admitted that not all the problems could be laid at the door of the CNE. The country's parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, was also to blame for the late approval of the amended electoral laws, and for the late establishment of the electoral bodies.

The Constitutional Council further announced that it has rejected most appeals against the outcome of the municipal elections. These appeals mostly came from the opposition Renamo-Electoral Union coalition, but also some Frelimo appeals were rejected.

The final results, as validated on 15 January by the Constitutional Council put the total electorate of the 33 municipalities at 2,371,839, of whom only 573,140 voted (that means that three quarters of Mozambique's municipal electorate did not cast their votes in the 19 November local elections). Depressing though this figure is, it is a marked improvement on the first municipal elections, in 1998, when less than 15 per cent of the electorate voted. The definitive results of the elections show that the ruling Frelimo Party won in 28 municipalities and the opposition Renamo-Electoral Union won in four. In the 33rd municipality, Marromeu, a Renamo candidate was elected mayor, but Frelimo won a narrow majority in the municipal assembly.(AIM, Maputo)


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