Joseph Hanlon: Campaign opens, generally calm / Gorongosa: army shots leave residents in fear / CNE sees no reason to give different treatment to Gonongosa

2013 Local Elections
Mozambique political process bulletin
Number LE-0    1 July 2013
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Published by CIP and AWEPA, Maputo, Mozambique
Editor: Joseph Hanlon ( j.hanlon@open.ac.uk)
Material may be freely reprinted. Please cite the Bulletin.
web: bit.ly/MozEl13
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Campaign opens, generally calm

Campaigns opened yesterday in most of the 53 municipalities with marches, meetings, and especially election posters everywhere. Nearly everywhere the campaign for the 20 November local elections was calm and orderly. The only incidents reported were in Gorongosa (below) and in Tete, where a confrontation between MDM and Frelimo left one person hospitalised.

At national level, Frelimo issued an instruction to its campaigners not to use state cars, but our correspondents report this has been widely ignored.

Gorongosa: army shots leave residents in fear

Shots by the army (FADM) caused fear and disrupted the first day of the campaign in Gorongosa.

A major Renamo attack north of Gorongosa yesterday killed 3 soldiers and injured 18, some of whom were brought to Gorongosa hospital. To clear a way for the ambulance through streets crowded with shoppers and campaigners, the army shot in the air – causing panic.

The recent attacks have been on the main north-south N1 road, in the section which runs from the River Save north through Muxungue and Inchope, through Gorongosa town, toward Maringue. So there is a substantial military presence and tension in the town.

Despite the tensions caused by the Renamo attacks along the road and the shots yesterday, normal campaigning resumed this morning. Gorongosa has been the only municipality which has had problems. Elsewhere in the centre of Mozambique the campaign opened normally, with parties, candidates and supporters out in the street trying to win votes.

CNE sees no reason to give different treatment to Gonongosa

The is not yet any reason to give special treatment to Gorongosa, the municipality closest to the military conflict zone. And this will only change if there is a serious threat to the electoral process. Speaking Monday, before the most recent incident, Election Commission (CNE) President Abdul Carimo said that there were no reasons to fear the voting could not take place in a free, just and transparent way. Until now, there have been no threats which suggest voting could not take place.

He noted that the electoral law (7/2013) says that in the case of a „natural calamity or perturbation of the public order“, it is the district election commission which decides if it is necessary to delay the vote, and the district commission then informs the national commission.  If elections are delayed, they should take place on the second Sunday after the previously set date.

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