Translated by Francisco Chuquela
The Constitutional Council validated, in terms of the law, the municipal elections of October 10, held in the 53 municipalities, and the competent Judgment decided by the partial repeal of the ballot in some (8) of the boards of Marromeu municipality in Sofala Province , unto very serious irregularities.
The expectation of many was that a similar sentence should apply to other municipalities, such as Moatize, in Tete Province, where irregularities may have surpassed those of Marromeu! The Constitutional Court hasn’t understood this and its excessive absolute independence has closed the door for us to ask for convincing arguments.
As in Marromeu, there is an extensive report of incidents with some gravity, with due registration in documents inherent to the process, such as Moatize, where even sites where electoral material was stored were broken into.
It is more than important that the Constitutional Council, not necessarily to give reason to this or that one, but to dwell on the whole script of the processes that have run, in order to be able to benefit us of its philosophy and of thought with respect to what happened, in fact.
Regarding the early exclusion of the citizen Samora Machel Júnior, affectionately addressed by Samito, the Constitutional Council today considers, extemporaneously, that Article 23 of the Electoral Law, which orders to reject the entire list of candidates for insufficient substitutes and without giving opportunity to replace dropouts after the end of the application period, violates the fundamental right to universal suffrage. It argues that in the electoral process, all irregularities must be satisfactory, except for cases of non-compliance with deadlines, candidates not registered.
Now, the great question that doesn’t want to remain silent is why only today the Constitutional Council sees us toast with this conclusion, in an extemporaneous way. It is that when Samito was excluded the competent file was triggered, but the Constitutional Council “ordered to go walking”, using for this judgment, purely and simply the route of procedural procedures and not the merit of the complaint.
If the Constitutional Council has made the judgment it makes today, it would have given the citizen Samora Machel Júnior the possibility of competing on an equal footing with other candidates. This is our understanding, we laymen, in legal matters. The facts give us no other possibility of understanding what goes into the soul of the Constitutional Council, other than a deliberate and intentional intention to do everything to support the long-rehearsed exclusion of Samito, just as it happened at the party level in which he is member of the respective Central Committee, despite the support of six of the seven party cells.
In our modest opinion, we are faced with an error of omission, which has turned into an error of commission, the fact that the Constitutional Council only reveals it when, at that time, the law invoked by that body was at that time identical, the Constitution and collision between the two legal instruments. That is to say, if there isn’t any premeditated intention to help make the exclusion of Samora Machel Júnior viable, the Constitutional Council was already obliged at that time to speak out in order to warn that we move forward with the early withdrawal of Samito, violating the fundamental right of the citizen.
In addition, two respected constitutionalists wrote in due course to warn of the illegality that was committed, but they were neither had nor found. In fact, they were a mockery in some circles of interest. The Constitutional Council has a moral duty to hand over the handout because it should have avoided this unfortunate timely pronouncement.
It is now interesting to know that, since the Constitutional Council has finally decided to speak out, there has been a violation of the constitutional right of Samora Machel Júnior, which right assists Samito to return, including whether or not to challenge the elections and what mechanism to use.
The decisions of the Constitutional Council must have consequences, so something must happen in order for Samito to be compensated for the intentional illegality of which he was a victim, even if the elections in Maputo Municipality are to be repeated. By the way, no more than ever, Samora Machel Júnior is already in possession of ammunition sufficient to demand the return of constitutional law that was deliberately and intentionally taken away, with the fear that his candidacy would create problems for some competitors. When justice fails, chaos is installed, the consequences of which we don’t know, and we don’t mind.
It wasn’t and never will be desirable for the Constitutional Council to have made the finding in the post facto, but it should have done at that time, in a timely manner to prevent the orchestrated impediment of the candidate Samito to advance in the local elections of 10th October, since this impediment clearly violated a constitutional right. Another alternative is not left to the Constitutional Council, by engaging in an extremely difficult position, which isn’t to retract and rescue his nipped reputation, just as the trust that citizens could place in the organ.
Under the law, the Constitutional Council is the highest judicial body, in terms of Constitutional Law and also in electoral matters. Therefore, its judgments lay down the case-law and the doctrine to be applied in matters of this kind. Needless to emphasize the imperative of compliance with the decisions of this body as such, but the whole volume of argumentative leading to final decisions.
The perception that the Constitutional Council isn’t fully independent is sufficiently widespread, so it is important that a body of this size does its best to put itself above any level of suspicion. The Constitutional Council should never be subject to a situation where there is a large segment of society that doesn’t trust its integrity in decision-making.