Mozambique to learn best Electoral practices from Ghana

By Own correspondent with support from GNA – A team of Electoral Officials, Members of Parliament and democratic stakeholders from Mozambique on Monday paid a working visit to Ghana’s Electoral Commission to learn at first hand best electoral practices.

The area of study includes operations of the Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC), Voter registration procedure, electoral administration, legal status of the EC, composition and mandate of Commissioners, and polling day activities.

Election in Mozambique is managed by the National Electoral Commission (CNE) and the Technical Secretariat for Electoral Administration (STAE).The CNE is responsible for ensuring voter registration; supervising of elections and referenda, Provincial, city and district commissions assist it in implementing its mandate.

National Electoral Commission (CNE) is an independent body subordinate only to the constitution and other relevant legislation, while the other subordinate organs are answerable to it alone.There are 13 constituencies. The 10 provinces and the city of Maputo return a total of 248 MPs; the number of seats allocated to each of these is determined afresh for each election based on the proportion of voters registered in each by the CNE.

Others are the electoral reforms; relationship between the Electoral Commission and state agencies; funding of political parties; electoral demarcation; and management of electoral disputes.

Briefing EC Officials and the media about the purpose of the working visit to Ghana, Mr Antonio Chipanga, lauded Ghana’s democratic credentials and noted; “we want to understand and learn the your best practices to improve our system”.

He said the team was fascinated about Ghana’s Election 2008, which went through a marathon voting before finally a winner emerged adding “we want to know how you managed such a system, the legal regime and checks and balances along the way”.

Mozambique’s electoral system have inbuilt capacity just like Ghana’s system, but the difference is the vast experience; application of the laws and its administration, Mr Chipanga stated.

A Presidential candidate needs majority of valid votes cast to be elected. If no candidate obtains more than 50 per cent of vote, a run-off is held between the two strongest candidates and the candidate who obtains the most votes is elected.

Mr Kwadwo Sarfo Kantanka, Deputy Chairman In Charge of Operations, who briefed the team on Ghana’s electoral system noted one of the fundamental principles underlying the Ghanaian political system is universal adult suffrage.“Consequently the 1992 constitution provided for the creation of an Electoral Commission which shall have the responsibility of; creating the constituencies and electoral areas, which form the basis for electing the peoples representatives.He also noted that the basic features of the electoral system included periodic registration of voters, periodic general elections, voluntary participation in registration and voting, secret ballot, Presidential and Parliamentary elections held on the same day, Run-off after a tie and use of identity card issued by the EC to establish voter’s identity and to prevent impersonation.