IMD alerta para riscos de ocorrência de ilícitos e violência eleitoral em Moçambique alfazemaA recent study by the Institute for Multiparty Democracy (IMD), entitled "On the way to elections: mapping out electoral irregularities and illicit acts in Mozambique, what can we learn from past elections?" warns of a relatively more significant risk of illegal acts and electoral violence in the upcoming elections in Mozambique.

The document is based on data recorded in the 2014 and 2019 general elections and the 2018 local elections. Four hundred nineteen irregularities and electoral offences were recorded in the three electoral processes, sometimes becoming physical violence. The province of Nampula registered 76 cases, and Zambézia registered 66, making them the most prone to illegal acts and incidents of electoral violence. Then follow the provinces of Gaza with 54, Tete with 51 and Sofala with 48 cases registered in the three electoral processes under analysis.

Screenshot 2023 09 17 at 23.10.44"Except Gaza province, the remaining four provinces with a high risk of electoral irregularities and violence share that they experience relatively greater electoral competition than the others. Members and supporters of the two or three main parties believe they have a realistic chance of winning elections, which raises emotions", says IMD Project Manager Glécio Massango.

Massango explains that despite Gaza being the province where Frelimo almost always wins more comfortably, the local population shows high levels of political intolerance, which explains the occurrence of most irregularities and electoral violence.

"It has been difficult for opposition parties to campaign in Gaza because the local population has been hostile. In some regions, opposition parties adopt the strategy of putting up posters at night to avoid attacks and clashes. Observers have also faced challenges in doing their work because they are often seen as being from opposition parties. Remember that it is in Gaza, specifically in the city of Xai-Xai, where the Sala da Paz activist, Anastácio Matavele, was murdered in an electoral context", he said.

At the other extreme, the provinces of Niassa, Cabo Delgado, and Maputo (province and city) appear to be the most peaceful, with 14, 20 and 25 cases registered in the three electoral processes under analysis. The provinces of Inhambane and Manica are at medium risk, with 27 and 33 cases reported in the three processes under study.

Screenshot 2023 09 17 at 00.13.56However, the research indicates that it should be a concern that violent events are occurring in Cabo Delgado. "This increases the risk of violent events that, even though they are not electoral, could impact the credibility of the electoral process," said Glécio Massango.

The IMD study also suggests that despite relative calm in the province of Maputo, in the 2019 elections, there were pockets of intolerance in districts such as Manhiça, Marracuene and Boane, which in part may have been motivated by the perception of high competition between two main parties. "This should keep all electoral actors on alert", says the IMD Project Manager.

However, the IMD study states that it is worrying that Inhambane recorded a significant increase in 2019 after being classified as the most peaceful, based on incidents in 2018 and 2019.

It also notes that voting day and the campaign phase present a greater risk of illegal acts and electoral irregularities.

For example, data from 2018 suggests that 52% of registered cases occurred during the voting phase, including counting at table level, representing the most worrying phase. In the 2019 elections, of 286 registered cases, 227 were in the campaign phase and, 53 in the voting and counting phase at the tables and only 6 in the census phase.

The study recommends adopting additional conflict prevention measures in some municipalities, especially those with high competitiveness in results or with high-risk elements present.

IMD alerta para riscos de ocorrência de ilícitos e violência eleitoral em Moçambique

"The municipalities of Beira, Nampula, Quelimane, Gurue, Angoche, Ilha de Moçambique, Chiure, and Nacala, among others, have already been governed by at least two different parties, so we must remain alert about the risk of violence and electoral crimes in 2023. But we also have municipalities in Matola, the city of Maputo, Marromeu, and Monapo where the potential of the candidates and the history of results demonstrate great competitiveness", declared IMD Program Director Dércio Alfazema.


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