5 Feb 2021
The new chair of Mozambique's National Elections Commission (CNE), Rev Carlos Matsinhe, had a courtesy visit on Friday, 5 February, in Maputo, with the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy (EISA), represented by Ericino de Salema, country director for Mozambique, and EgÍdio Guambe, senior programme officer.
Both parties agreed to continue their cooperation, based on a Memorandum of Understanding that the two institutions signed some years ago. In particular, EISA will assist by providing capacity building in domains like elections management, stakeholders engagement and legal framework of elections in Mozambique.
Rev Carlos Matsinhe, who is the Bishop of the Anglican Church of Mozambique, was sworn-in as the new chairperson of the Mozambique's National Elections Commission (CNE) on 21 January this year, in a ceremony led by the President of Mozambique, Filipe Nyusi.
The CNE is comprised of 17 members, seven of whom come from legally constituted Civil Society Organisations and 10 from the Political Parties with seats in Parliament, namely Frelimo (with five members), Renamo (with four members) and MDM (with one member). All the members took office last week, in a ceremony also led by President Nyusi.
The new Civil Society members are Carlos Matsinhe (President), Alice Banze, Dauto Ibramugy, Paulo Cuinica, Salomão Moyana, Rui Cherene and Apolinário João.
Frelimo is represented at CNE by Carlos Cauio (vice-president), Rodrigues Timba, Abílio da ConceiÇão, Eugénia Fernanda and António Foca, while Renamo is represented by Fernando Mazanga (vice-president), Maria Anastácia da Costa Xavier, Abílio da Fonseca and Alberto José. MDM is represented by Barnabé Nkomo.
During January and February 2019, EISA held planning meetings with the National Elections Commission (CNE), in which both parties discussed and agreed on the priority actions for 2019. EISA Mozambique will support the CNE in training provincial staff of CNE and support CNE in engaging with relevant stakeholders, mostly CSOs working in elections and media, in preparation for the October presidential and parliamentary elections.
EISA Mozambique supported the operationalisation of the EMB's website's functionalities that allowed voters to access information about their registration and polling locations, the sending of text messages to voters about their voting locations, and the publication of provisional electoral results online.
EISA Mozambique also concluded the draft Gender and Inclusion Policy for the Elections Management Body, which will be reviewed and discussed by them in a near future.
EISA Mozambique contributed to the planning capacity of the election management bodies through support to the national CNE meeting, which took place in Matola city from 16 to 18 February 2018 and attended by all national and provincial EMB members and some staff, with a total of 120 attendees. During the meeting, the EMB reviewed the state of implementation of the election calendar up to date, and approved the plan of annual activites for 2018.
During the meeting, the EMB reviewed the state of implementation of the election calendar up to date, and approved the plan of annual activites for 2018.
During the EMB planning meeting the new EMB website, which was developed with EISA's support, was launched.
The announcement of 10 October 2018 as the date for the next local elections kick-started formal planning and operational process for these elections by the National Electoral Commission (CNE). EISA Mozambique motivated the CNE to implement methodologies and mechanisms to enable the collection, recording and publication of disaggregated gender and age data related to voter registration and voting.
EISA Mozambique also contributed to increased inclusiveness, fairness, balance, and transparency in Mozambican electoral processes through:
EISA Mozambique contributed to the exposure to best practices by the Mozambican Election Management Bodies by supporting peer-to-peer exchanges between the Mozambican National Electoral Commission and their counterparts in Germany, Angola and Portugal, where CNE commissioners had the opportunity to observe the management of elections in July, August and September, respectively.
In June EISA supported an exchange of experiences between the Mozambican CNE and its regional counterparts, on the margin of the ECF SADC meeting in Maputo, to provide the Mozambican EMB with regional best practices in election management and dispute resolution.
In April EISA Mozambique supported a two day national EMB planning meeting that brought together 120 national and provincial level EMB members and senior operational staff to discuss and approve the calendar and operational plan for the 2018 elections.
EISA Mozambique, in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), provided BRIDGE training to 75 staff of the Mozambican Technical Secretariat for Election Management (STAE) at provincial level. Three one-week training sessions were conducted with 25 participants attending each session. The training took place in the cities of Nampula, Chimoio and Namaacha.
Electoral law training In collaboration with the Law School of Eduardo Mondlane University, the largest public university in Mozambique, EISA Mozambique assisted in the delivery of five short-term courses to 200 students on Electoral Law to the public at large. The courses took place in the cities of Maputo, Beira, Nampula, Pemba and Lichinga and had an average of 40 participants each, primarily from civil society, media, political parties, and EMBs.
In 2007, EISA and the National Elections Commission (CNE) had agreed on a capacity-building activity, which consisted of providing the CNE with BRIDGE training. BRIDGE (Building Resources in Democracy, Governance and Elections) is the premier international training course on election management for election practitioners. EISA translated into Portuguese the 10 election-related modules of BRIDGE and submitted to the CNE several training schedule proposals.
With the achievement of the initial election reform objectives, a new electoral component was introduced in the programme in order to:
According to the new electoral legislation, eight of the 13 members of the National Electoral Commission (CNE) should be proposed by CSOs, and six of the eleven members of provincial and district/city commissions should also come from civil society. All these new members from civil society had no experience in election management.
EISA successfully assisted an important coalition of election CSOs in designing and implementing a transparent and participatory nationwide selection process to identify civil society candidates for the CNE and its 11 provincial and 135 district/city subordinate bodies.
The process, which took place over a period of seven months, was widely praised by the media and political parties for its groundbreaking transparency and inclusiveness. EISA also designed a capacity-building programme for the new EMB and its decentralised representations, to address their lack of knowledge and experience in election management. This capacity-building programme included:
All ten BRIDGE training modules were translated into Portuguese and adapted to the Mozambican electoral legislation. A training chedule was developed in order to deliver training in two one-week sessions for the CNE and one one-week session for each of the 11 provincial electoral commissions. By the end of the year, training had not been implemented due to time constraints on the part of the electoral commissioners. Towards the end of 2007, the preparations for the upcoming municipal, provincial, and general elections faced serious challenges,especially around the voter registration process.
EISA arranged for the participation of a member of the CNE and the Director- General of Technical Secretariat for Electoral Assistance (STAE) in a regional technical workshop on voter registration to allow the Mozambican EMBs to access and discuss regional best practices in voter registration, and draw lessons for Mozambique.