Search

 

Cablegate: Assembly Passes Electoral Law Amendments

VZCZCXRO3878
RR RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHLU #0411/01 1481318
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 271318Z MAY 08
FM AMEMBASSY LUANDA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4805
INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 LUANDA 000411

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREL AO
SUBJECT: ASSEMBLY PASSES ELECTORAL LAW AMENDMENTS


1. (SBU) Summary: On May 20, 2008 the National Assembly
passed a series of amendments to the electoral and
registration laws, most of which affect various timelines in
the registration and electoral process. Opposition parties
strongly opposed the changes, particularly the extension of
deadlines for announcing provincial election results from 4
to 7 days, and the national election results from 10 to 15
days. While the amendments will not force a postponement of
the planned September 5/6 election, the National Electoral
Commission (CNE) must notify the President before June 5 that
conditions are set for elections or the planned date could be
challenged as unconstitutional. End Summary.

MPLA Pushes Changes Through Assembly
-------------------------------------

2. On May 20th the MPLA-dominated National Assembly passed a
series of MPLA-proposed amendments to Angolan electoral and
registration laws. The most controversial of these
amendments extend the deadline for announcing provincial
election results from 4 to 7 days and the national results
from 10 to 15 days. MPLA parliamentary leaders called these
extensions necessary given the poor state of Angola's
infrastructure and projected difficulties in transmitting
results, and noted that provisional results would be
available far sooner. NOTE: Electoral regulations call for
voting stations to "immediately" post results on the station
door, which should facilitate relatively accurate provisional
results. END NOTE

3. (SBU) Other amendments eliminate one seat on the national
and local election commissions. The seats were held by
judicial branch representatives on the election commissions,
and were eliminated due to constitutional provisions
prohibiting judges from holding positions or jobs outside the
judiciary. These changes increase the power of the
commission president, as they leave the electoral commission
with an even number of seats, giving the president of each
commission a tie-breaking vote. It is as yet unknown how
this change may affect the National Electoral Commission
(CNE) President Caetano de Sousa, who is also the
vice-president of the Supreme Court. The GRA has
long-justified his position on the CNE, as de Sousa is on a
leave of absence from the court.

Meeting the President's Timetable?
----------------------------------

4. (SBU) One amendment extends the amount of time the
Inter-Ministerial Commission for the Registration Process
(CIPE) must publicly display electoral rolls following a
registration period from 4-15 days following the
registration's end to 15-30 days. As a result, the CIPE
won't complete and turn the rolls over to the CNE until early
July 2008, or up to 31 days following the May 31 end of the
registration update currently underway. It is unclear
whether the CNE will wait until the rolls are submitted
before it informs President Dos Santos that conditions are
set for elections, which is a legal prerequisite to the
President's convocation of elections. As the President must
convoke elections at least 90 days before the election date,
if the CNE waits for the registration rolls, elections will
be in early October, rather than early September 2008.

5. (SBU) The remaining amendments affect minor changes to the
amount of time allowed to submit, in writing, notice of
errors in the electoral rolls, and the amount of time that
authorities have to respond to these written complaints.

Opposition Ire Sparked by Amendments
-------------------------------------

6. (SBU) Critics accuse the MPLA of putting the stability of
the electoral process at risk by making these changes so
close to the projected election date. Eight of the largest
opposition parties and coalitions signed an official protest
of these changes and accused the MPLA of "introducing a
flawed procedure that could later be used to legalize
operational fraud, as is happening in Zimbabwe." National
Electoral Commission (CNE) spokesman Adao de Almeida welcomed
the changes, noting the logistical hurdles posed by the legal
requirement that certified hard copies of the results be
delivered from voting stations to municipal authorities and
on up the chain of command.

Elections Remain on Track for 2008
----------------------------------

7. (SBU) COMMENT: Political parties and Angolan voters are
waiting to see if the CNE will notify President Dos Santos
that conditions are set for legislative elections in time for
him to officially call elections 90 days in advance of the
planned September 5/6 vote. The amendments to the electoral

LUANDA 00000411 002 OF 002


law will not force a postponement of the election day(s), but
certain provisions related to the publication of voters rolls
could be used by the CNE to justify a delay in notifying the
President that electoral conditions are set. The
constitutionality of two days of elections, as announced by
the President, versus one day has yet to be resolved. END
COMMENT
FERNANDEZ

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC