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Cablegate: Leading Journalist Issues Harsh Op-Ed On Ruling

VZCZCXRO1378
RR RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHTO #1162/01 3001425
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 271425Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY MAPUTO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0886
INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 0547
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MAPUTO 001162

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL SOCI KDEM KPAO MZ
SUBJECT: LEADING JOURNALIST ISSUES HARSH OP-ED ON RULING
PARTY

1. On October 23, journalist Machado da Graca wrote the
following editorial in the independent newspaper Savana. He
is a well-respected Mozambican of Portuguese descent who
often uses satire to comment on political and social themes.
In this article, he summarizes the doubts and concerns of
many Mozambicans during this electoral period. The content
is such that we present it with no further analysis.

Begin Text:

Vigilance

by Machado da Graca

We are approaching the moment of voting in an electoral
process in which, clearly, some wanted to win even before the
voters placed their ballots in the ballot boxes. A process in
which, according to several media:

- The prestigious names of the independent journalist Salomao
Moyana and leader of the Human Rights League Alice Mabota
were steered away from the position of Head of the National
Election Committee (CNE), in favor of Joao Leopoldo da Costa,
an active militant of Frelimo;

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- The President of CNE came to enjoy the same category, and
accompanying benefits, as the Ministers, and the other
members of CNE those of the Vice-Ministers;

- Dr. Luis Mondlane was appointed as President of the
Constitutional Court (CC), and recently participated in the
birthday party of General Chipande, where he was addressed as
"comrade";

- Respected independent jurist Dr. Isabel Rupia's entry into
the CC was boycotted;

- The CC removed several candidates from the electoral race,
citing a legal figure which does not exist in the electoral
law, the "irremediable irregularities";

- The CNE removed a large number of parties from the
electoral race, either totally or partially, also citing
"irremediable irregularities". Namely, the lack of some
documents in the candidature processes. MDM later proved,
through convincing documentation, that it had delivered the
documents to CNE. If they had disappeared, that had happened
within CNE itself;

- The members of CNE, should have, by legal imperative,
resigned from any other positions held. Apparently none of
them did, and they are still earning the same salaries;

- One party, which was completely unknown, and whose minutes
of association are not even published in the official
gazette, the PLD, was accepted to run in 10 electoral
provinces. Remember that the publication in the official
gazette was one of the requirements to accept any candidature;

- The same PLD received notification by CNE, providing 5 days
to remedy some irregularities found, and dated September 1.
Remember that CNE had published the final lists 3 days
before, on August 28;

- The same PLD remedied the irregularities, replacing
candidates without documents for others with documents. The
party PARENA tried to do the same but was not allowed;

- Not by coincidence, the symbol of the PLD is a turkey.
There is clearly an intention to confuse the voter who wishes
to vote for a party whose symbol is a partridge or a rooster;

- The President of UDM, Jose Viana, publicly affirmed that
the CNE forced his party to run in the electoral province of
Sofala, when he intended to run in other electoral provinces.
Not by coincidence, the name of this party is easily mistaken
with the MDM, and Sofala is one of the strongholds of this
latter political party;

- Throughout the whole campaign, Frelimo used and abused
State means for electoral purposes, which is totally illegal.
Several media reported, repeatedly, the use of those means,
and nothing was done to prevent it;

- The partiality of the police force was notorious,
repressing other parties but never the abuse perpetrated by
Frelimo followers;


MAPUTO 00001162 002 OF 002


- The partiality of the public media was notorious, whether
in the spaces provided for Frelimo candidates compared to the
opposition parties, or in content and technical quality;

- The PIMO candidate was clearly bribed to support Frelimo.


Faced with all this, this process is irremediably soiled, and
this stain will spread to its results, whichever they may be.
All that's left to do is cast the votes and count the
ballots. We have to be alert and vigilant to avoid cases such
as the sadly famous Mr. Albuquerque who in a previous
election added hundreds of votes, which were really
inexistent, to Frelimo; or the case of several areas in Tete
where the Renamo delegates were expelled from the voting
assemblies, and the ballots boxes were filled with Frelimo
votes, which in several cases were in higher number than the
number of registered voters. Let's not forget the current law
says that when this happens, those ballots are validated!

Let's be vigilant, then, in this last phase of the process.
Because, as we've been repeatedly told throughout this period
the Frelimo party motto: "Frelimo did it! Frelimo does it!!!

End text.
CHAPMAN

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