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Mozambique’s Vote Will be Credible, Says Senior Electoral Official

The director general of the technical secretariat of Mozambique's National Electoral Commission says Wednesday's vote will be transparent and credible.

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Felizeberto Nice said the electoral body worked closely with all the participating parties to come out with the mechanisms for a free and fair vote.

He said voting materials have already been delivered to the over 12 thousand polling stations across the country. Polls are scheduled to open at 7am and close at 6pm local time.

Both local and international poll monitors, including Southern African Development Community will observe Wednesday's vote.

Director Felizeberto Nice said that structures are in place to address the concerns of participating parties after the election.

"For today, everything is ready in order to allow people to vote. Talking about around 12 thousand five hundred and nine stations from 7:O'clock am until 6:O'clock pm. During this period, people will have this opportunity to exercise their vote. I think the electoral commission is ready to carry out this exercise today," Nice said.

He said officials of participating parties will be present at polling stations to ensure fairness.

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"We will provide the copy of the results sheet in each polling station to officials of the political parties who are present. This will allow political parties to make a parallel tabulation and at the end of the day they can compare with the official results if they have any change or not," he said.

Nice said having participating party officials cross check election results will guarantee fairness.

"I think this is one of the mechanisms that can make very transparent this process," Nice said.

He said Mozambicans will know the results shortly after the vote.

"The first day, we will do what we call parallel results from the electoral commission. We have organized our staff in every county in order to provide the information. The results from the districts come directly to the electoral commission in order to allow us to provide these results to the public," he said.

Nice said by regulation, the electoral body is expected to address concerns raised by any political party after the election.

"The laws allow political parties to complain from the polling station from the district level and then they come to the electoral commission which can decide if the political party is not satisfied with the answer from the district and we have the Constitutional Council… (which) has the right to decide a last answer let us say to the political party complain," Nice said.

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Meanwhile, Twenty-nine political parties are participating in the parliamentary elections.

In the presidential vote, main opposition RENAMO candidate Afonso Dlhakama and Daviz Simango of the new Mozambique Democratic Movement are challenging incumbent President Armando Guebuza of the ruling FRELIMO party.

Some analysts say the opposition is too divided to pose any significant threat to a possible landslide victory for the ruling FRELIMO party.

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