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Commonwealth Observer Group condemns killing in the run-up to Mozambique elections

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The leader of the Commonwealth team observing elections in Mozambique has condemned the killing of a man who headed a local observer group.

Musa Mwenye, former attorney General of Zambia and acting chair of the group, called for a thorough investigation into the death of Anastácio Matavele in Xai-Xai, capital of Gaza province in Mozambique.

He condemned all incident of violence and encouraged all stakeholders to demonstrate unwavering commitment to peaceful and credible elections.

Mr. Mwenya was speaking on arrival in Mozambique’s capital, Maputo. He said: “We convey sincere condolences to Mr Matavele’s family and friends and urge a thorough investigation into this and any other incidents of violence.

“Our mandate is to observe and evaluate the pre-election environment, polling day as well as the post-election period. We will consider the various factors impinging on the credibility of the electoral process as a whole, and report on whether it has been conducted to the national, regional, Commonwealth and international standards to which Mozambique has committed itself.”

The five-member Commonwealth Group (COG) arrived in Maputo on 10 October.  It will receive briefings from election management officials, representatives of political parties, civil society groups, the police, members of the international community as well as citizens and internal observers, then deploy to selected provinces to observe the pre-election environment and the vote itself.

Shortly after the election, the Commonwealth Group will present its preliminary findings in Maputo.  Its final report will be submitted to the Commonwealth Secretary-General and made available to relevant stakeholders and the public.

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