Africa-Press – Mozambique. Former president of the National Elections Commission Brazão Mazula says it is not normal for so many polling station presidents to have refused to sign the ‘editais’. He talks about possible “guidance” and considers that there may be circles beyond the CNE and STAE that decide elections.
Brazão Mazula, who became first president of Mozambique’s National Elections Commission shortly after the birth of multiparty democracy in the country, has given an exclusive interview to O País about the recent local elections.
Mazula says he is disappointed that the sixth local elections were characterised by so much disorganisation .
“When the polling station editais do not correspond to the editais that are delivered to the delegates, this is already disorganisation. When the number of voters is much higher than the number of voters registered in the voter registration, this also is disorganisation,” says the former rector of Eduardo Mondlane University, for whom the disorganization appears to have been premeditated.
“I don’t want to believe it was due to lack of experience. What I may do is think that it was premeditated, but premeditation also means malice. That is what’s bad. The STAE and the CNE have to learn, once and for all, a clean organisation process.”
Mazula further considers it not normal for so many polling station presidents to have refused to sign ‘editais’.
“If it was one or two, I would say well, it was an incident. Maybe the contract wasn’t well drawn up and that meant they didn’t sign it. But they were prepared on what [being] the president of a polling station means, and should have signed,” Mazula says. “If he didn’t sign it, it could have been because there was something he saw. But given that it’s a constant thing, and there are a lot of them, I doubt it was a singular attitude. I have to think it was guidance.”
He is also of the opinion that the electoral administration bodies have negative credibility and understands that there are decision-making circles on elections outside the CNE and STAE.
“This CNE and STAE are official bodies created by law, but this process has indicated that there is a CNE outside, that there is a real CNE, that there is a real STAE,” Mazula posits. “What are the real CNE and the real STAE? They are those whose orders are executed. Those orders that say: ‘You don’t sign the minutes, you do not deliver the editais, you call the police, you stuff the ballots.’ That is what is the… Look, even the party secretaries undo the CNE’s order during the election. Therefore, this which has happened is only possible because someone above gave the order to do it.”
“So, it is sad that there are official institutions to guide, manage and administrate the electoral process and that there are unofficial institutions who, in fact, guide, manage and administrate the electoral process, that is, manipulate it.”
“My reading is that Frelimo has let itself infiltrate in the direction by the technocrats, who did what they did, including this disorganisation,” Mazula declares. “I mean, for them it was technically… Meaning, they didn’t think… What they thought was that by paying 25,000 meticais or, I don’t know, 500,000 meticais to the district elections director that all would go well. Look, man does not live on money alone. Those people who received the money are the ones who themselves report it. Meaning that, at a certain point, the conscience calls for accountability, isn’t it? Therefore, one cannot guide a process [electoral process] in a commercial way, like a merchant.”
Mazula ends by assigning to the courts and to the Constitutional Council responsibility for recovering the credibility of state institutions.