Mozambique: Why Did the Constitutional Council Take Alto Molocue from Frelimo?

The Constitutional Council took Alto Molocue away from Frelimo and gave it to Renamo, in secret, and not on the basis of publicly available documents. All publicly available information suggests Frelimo won by a large margin. This is precisely the opposite of Maputo and Matola, where the editais are public and show Renamo won, but the CC gave the victory to Frelimo. The CC has given no reasons or explanations for these anomalous decisions.

In Alto Molocue the CC transferred 3,275 votes from Frelimo to Renamo. This is 25% of Frelimo’s initial vote – the highest percentage transfer made by the CC. It is equivalent to a transfer of 63 votes in each polling station in Alto Molocue. Renamo’s vote was increased from 31% to 48%, giving it a narrow margin of 107 votes (0.6%).  There was a transfer of 5 municipal assembly seats, giving Renamo a 12 to 11 majority. The CC also tripled the number of votes for the MDM, giving it an extra 482 votes.

Yet Alto Molocue had a parallel count by the Mais Integridade civil society observation consortium. This was a double count, of both the results written on the classroom blackboard as the ballots were counted, and a parallel count of the results sheets (editais). Except in four polling stations, the blackboards and editais were identical and all but three gave Frelimo victory in the polling station.

On 15 November the CC demanded the editais from Alto Molocue, and these may have shown something different, but as the CC acts in secret these editais are not public.

Alto Molocue did not have a clean election. Observers notes that in many polling stations the count was delayed, or the declaration of the result was delayed or even not posted. And at least 15 polling stations showed evidence of ballot box stuffing.