Mozambique opposition files suit against ‘massive electoral fraud’

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Fliers for Mozambique's incumbent party Frelimo line the streets of Maputo in the run up to the country's general elections on October 15th. (Photo: Gabriel Rotich/CGTN)
FILE PHOTO: A woman casts her vote during presidential, legislative and provincial elections in Maputo, Mozambique, October, 15, 2019. REUTERS/Grant Lee Neuenburg/File Photo

Mozambique’s largest opposition party Renamo submitted court papers calling for the October 15 elections to be annulled for massive electoral fraud.

According to the electoral commission, the rebel group turned opposition party lost the election to the long-ruling party, Frelimo attaining under 22% of the vote.

The opposition submitted an official complaint to the National Electoral Commission to be judged by the constitutional council after having called for the annulment of the election.

“With this complaint we take on also all the misconduct that took place during the elections and its evidence is well documented,” Renamo’s national spokesperson, Venancio Mondlane told journalists outside the National Election Commission (CNE) headquarters in Maputo after submitting the complaint.

“The results of the elections are null and void.”

Renamo has also accused the government of breaching the country’s peace deal by using violence and intimidation on the voting day.

So far 158 people have been convicted by the lower courts over electoral misconduct, fourteen of them arrested for ballot box stuffing while 140 more await trail.

The Supreme Court this week has stated that at least 58 electoral irregularity complaints submitted by Frelimo, Renamo and the Democratic Movement of Mozambique over election fraud were rejected by the district courts.

Supreme Court spokesperson, Pedro Nhatitima explained that majority of the complaints were rejected because they were not presented within the legal deadline of 48 hours of the election results being announced.

However six of the rejected queries were sent to the constitutional court to seek further judgment.

International elections observers and the Mozambican civil society flagged many alleged attempts to stuff ballot boxes and chase election monitors away.

The Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA) said it regrets that irregularities in voter registration had not been addressed before the elections.

Mozambique has experienced one of its most violent election campaigns ever.

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