Collapsing Electoral Integrity in Mozambique

Hanlon, Joseph (2021). Collapsing Electoral Integrity in Mozambique. Journal of African Elections, 20(1) pp. 44–66.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.20940/JAE/2021/v20i1a3

URL: https://www.eisa.org/pdf/JAE20.1Hanlon.pdf

Abstract

Excessive secrecy has always compromised the integrity of Mozambique’s elections. The National Elections Commission secretly changes results with no records kept nor any public notice that changes have been made. The official final results of the 2019 elections were changed three times by the Constitutional Council with no comment and identical document numbers. The political parties want a politicised electoral machine with party nominees to all electoral bodies, and integrity has steadily declined. By 2018-9 elections had become dominated by the ruling party, Frelimo, which was able to openly change the outcome of municipal elections and create 329 430 ghost voters in the national elections. Civil society observers had become an important check on elections; but in 2019, independent observation was blocked in several provinces and the head of civil society observation in one province was assassinated by a police hit squad. The judiciary, which ordered a rerun in one town in the 2013 municipal elections, has become politicised and will no longer intervene. This paper is an empirical account of those events.

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