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Mozambique welcomes EU’s long-term election observers ahead of October general elections

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The European Union (EU) has deployed 32 long-term election observers for Mozambique’s general elections due on 15 October 2019.

The team left the country’s capital, Maputo, on Saturday, 14 September 2019, for the other ten provincial constituencies.

Mozambique is currently in its second week of election campaigning ahead of the 15 October general elections.

On Saturday, the head of the EU observer mission, Nacho Sanchez Amor, who is a Spanish member of the European Parliament, told a Maputo media briefing that the Mozambican government had invited the EU to send the mission.

The EU has observed all Mozambican general elections since the first multi-party elections held in 1994.

Sanchez Amor noted that the elections, scheduled for 15 October, “are taking place in a context of important changes in the country’s administrative structure, particularly the decentralization of
fundamental aspects of governance”.

He was referring to the direct election, for the first time, of provincial governors. Up until now, provincial governors have been appointed by the President of the Republic. But as from these
elections, whoever heads the list that wins a majority in the Provincial Assembly will become the governor.

The goal of the EU mission, said Sanchez Amor, “is to contribute positively to a credible, transparent and inclusive election”.

He added that the mission “will continue our work with the Mozambican authorities to implement the recommendations of previous Election Observation Missions”.

There will be 20 162 polling stations in the 11 provincial constituencies. Asked how many of these the EU mission could cover, Sanchez Amor said he hoped the observers could visit around 1 000.

Mozambique’s presidential election is also under the microscope as outsiders look to understand the changes in the country and path forward to 2020 and beyond. The ruling party, the Mozambique
Liberation Front (Frelimo), is expected to win the election next month.


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