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Cablegate: Mozambican General Elections: Provincial

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS MAPUTO 001585

SIPDIS
MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORP
SENSITIVE
FOR AF/FO AND AF/S
MCC PASS TO BRIGGS AND GAULL
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL KDEM MZ
SUBJECT: MOZAMBICAN GENERAL ELECTIONS: PROVINCIAL
TABULATION DELAYED

REF: MAPUTO 1572 AND PREVIOUS

Not for Internet Distribution

1. (U) Although the provincial vote tabulation should have
begun December 3, as of December 6, it had started in only
Nampula, Zambezia and Sofala provinces. According to
National Elections Commission (CNE) spokesman Filipe
Mondlate, data entry and tabulation should begin December 7
in another two -- Gaza and Inhambane -- and Maputo city.
Mondlate attributed delays to continuing heavy rains,
particularly in the north of the country, as well as issues
with installation of tabulation software. By law, provincial
tabulation must be completed by Thursday, December 9.
Considering these widespread delays, it is unlikely this
deadline will be met. (Comment: Missing the deadline will
not be considered a major issue and will not jeopardize the
election. End Comment.) As of early afternoon on December 7,
tabulation had not yet begun at the national level.

2. (U) The CNE also announced on December 6 its decision not
to reschedule voting in areas where polling stations did not
open due to delays in delivery of voting materials because of
heavy downpours. The CNE said that the law only permitted
rescheduling in situations in which voting had been
interrupted, and it also noted the relatively small number of
voters affected. This decision will affect 24,943 registered
voters in 43 polling stations in Tete and Cabo Delgado
provinces.

3. (SBU) While it appears clear that Guebuza has won handily,
international election observers remain concerned about the
reclassification of initially invalid votes (nulos). In
1999, roughly ten percent of votes were nulos, with roughly 4
percent ultimately reclassified as valid. If the percentages
are similar this year, there could be approximately 350,000
nulos and 140,000 could be reclassified. Observers from the
European Union, the Carter Center and other international
missions were called to the CNE on December 6 to witness the
start of the reconsideration process. However, according to
an EU mission source, observers were provided an explanation
of the process and then asked to leave before the
reconsideration began. Reconsideration is being carried out
by teams of two officials, one each representing FRELIMO and
RENAMO. The source also stated that the CNE did not plan to
provide a final report on the reclassification process,
including what criteria were used, as requested by the
observer missions (ref B).

4. (SBU) It also remains unclear to what extent the CNE will
accomodate the desire of the EU and the Carter Center for the
CNE to make public the reasons for its decisions on polling
station results excluded at the provincial level. These
decisions are not expected to begin until later this week.
LA LIME

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