Mozambique’s 1st Commission has rejected a CM proposal to allow more public monitoring of counting of votes at polling stations. In Ghana and some other countries voters can watch the count at the polling station, and the CM proposed this for Mozambique – with the requirement that voters had to stay 300 metres away from the polling station – really too far to see or hear anything. But the 1st Commission rejected even this much public vigilance.
Observers, party delegates and media can sit inside the polling station and watch the count, but the public cannot and there is considerable mistrust. In 2013 municipal elections in Quelimane the main opposition MDM called on voters to monitor the count. Police intervened with substantial violence to disperse voters.
The 1st Commission rejected the CM proposal to legalise and regularise such popular vigilance,.
The key issue in the decentralisation debate is about how much money and power is passed down to municipalities and provinces, and how much is kept at central level – “tutela administrativa” in legal jargon. This is set out in the proposed revision of law 7/97. The 4th Commission of Parliament – Public Administration and Local Power (Administracao Publica e Poder Local) could not agree on how to respond to the Council of Ministers proposals, so this law will not be revised at tomorrow’s special session.
The issue is deferred until the next regular AR session scheduled for September.
But the failure to agree suggests that substantial negotiation will be required before then, with Renamo pushing for reduced state power over municipalities and Frelimo for increasing central state power over municipalities.
Two significant additions to resolve issues not dealt with by the Council Of Ministers (CM) proposal have been proposed by the 4th Commission of Parliament – Public Administration and Local Power (Administracao Publica e Poder Local). — Aim Mozambique.