The recent ruling by the Nhlamankulu District Court in Maputo city confirms that the director of the district’s STAE introduced counterfeit polling station results sheets, known as “editais,” to manipulate the election results in favor of the Frelimo party. What makes this ruling significant is that it acknowledges the widespread reports of organized fraud that occurred during the municipal elections. The court found that the director carried 43 editais in an unsealed envelope, with 42 of them being fake copies. According to the law, the minutes and editais should have been securely sealed and submitted to the higher electoral body. Additionally, it was proven that during the intermediate tabulation, results were repeatedly posted using falsified editais to benefit the Frelimo party, despite objections from opposition members.
Furthermore, it was discovered that the resolution approving the results was discussed and approved in the absence of Renamo members, which raises concerns about the transparency and fairness of the electoral process. As a result, the judge declared the annulment of all electoral acts in the 64 polling stations in the Nhlamankulu district and ordered their repetition to ensure the integrity of the process. Considering the criminal nature of the matter, a copy of the ruling was sent to the Public Prosecutor’s Office to initiate criminal proceedings against those involved.
It is worth noting that the Nhlamankulu District Court did not entertain Renamo’s protest against the results declared by the district election commission, highlighting the difficulty in challenging electoral outcomes. According to the law, a party must first protest to the election commission and can only appeal to the district court if the protest is rejected. However, the law does not specify a deadline for the election commission to respond, while an appeal must be made to the court within two days of the posting of the edital. In this case, Renamo’s complaint was not considered by the district court because the election commission did not respond in time. Similar situations occurred in Xai-Xai City and the Matola District, where Renamo’s appeals were dismissed for various reasons. Renamo has since submitted the appeal to the Constitutional Council for further review.
To receive the latest news from Africa, sign up for free AllAfrica newsletters and have them delivered straight to your inbox.
(Note: The HTML tags