EISA Observer Mission to the 2004 Mozambican Presidential and Parliamentary Elections (continued)
7. Findings of the Mission
The EISA Election Observer Mission, basing itself on the PEMMO as a guideline, made the following findings:
7.1. Legal Framework of Elections
The Mission found that the electoral legal framework in Mozambique is generally conducive to the holding of democratic elections. This framework guarantees fundamental freedoms, civil and political rights. Furthermore, whilst many countries in the SADC region continue to grapple with regulating the disbursement of public resources to political parties for campaign purposes, and their access to public media, Mozambique has progressive legislation in this area.
7.2. Electoral Atmosphere
The mission applauds the largely peaceful manner in which the elections were conducted. Reports of violence and intimidation during the election campaign were isolated and cannot be deemed to have significantly affected the election. Regrettably, there seems to have been a low voter turnout.
7.3. Electoral Staff
The largely thorough preparation and staff training of STAE could be seen in the high levels of competence amongst the voting station staff. The Secretariat should be commended for achieving a good gender balance as well as a high representation of youth.
7.4 Party Agents
The mission was pleased to observe the presence of party agents from different political parties at all polling stations visited. This presence promoted the transparency of the voting and counting processes.
7.5 Domestic Observers
There were domestic observers at many of the polling stations. Civil society organisations should be lauded for building coalitions and for conducting the parallel vote tabulation. This exercise is likely to contribute to the credibility of the election outcome.
7.5 National Election Commission (CNE)
Whilst initially political party composition within the CNE was a necessary move aimed at ensuring inclusiveness in a society polarised by decades of war, this arrangement has by now served its purpose. The bi-partisan composition of the CNE combined with the unbalanced representation of the political parties has created the perception that the commission lacks independence from the governing party.
7.6 Voter's Roll
The inconsistent use of three different rolls, from 1999, 2003 updated roll and 2004 updated roll in some areas and their allocation to polling stations is likely to have inhibited some eligible voters from participating in the election.
7.7 Transmission, Tabulation and Announcement of Results
It is anticipated to that the process of transmission, tabulation and announcement of the election results will take up to fifteen (15) days. Compared to other countries in the SADC region this is particularly slow. This can lead to unnecessary suspicion about the integrity of the tabulation process, especially where it is not open to scrutiny by observers.