EISA Mozambique: Political parties poll watching


EISA Mozambique focused its party support on the preparations for the 10 October municipal elections. In this regard EISA supported the process of selection and training of party poll-watchers and party-appointed polling officials for all 53 municipalities.

Support to RENAMO

19 Mar - 17 May 2018

Support took the form of training for 2 900 RENAMO party monitors for the monitoring of voter registration, which took place from 19 March to 17 May.

Training of MDM party poll-watchers

Jan 2018

EISA Mozambique supported the training of 800 MDM party poll-watchers for the monitoring of the 24 January mayoral by-election in Nampula city.


At the beginning of 2015 the EISA Mozambique office held meetings with the three political parties represented in Parliament to determine the types of assistance their structures and elected representatives would require. On the basis of these meetings a plan of support was designed for each party. Both FRELIMO and RENAMO submitted proposals for training and assistance.

2014 Party poll-watchers training

In 2014, EISA provided support for the training of party poll-watchers for the monitoring of the voter registration process that took place from 15 February to 29 April 2014, and for election day.

  • EISA supported FRELIMO by training 16 national and 160 provincial trainers in all 11 provinces, for the voter registration process and 496 trainers and 32,000 party poll-watchers for election day monitoring.
  • For MDM, EISA trained 290 party poll-watchers in the central region of Mozambique who were deployed to monitor the last phase of the voter registration process as well as 6,000 party poll-watchers and polling officials for Election day Monitoring.
  • RENAMO, was not included in EISA activities given its boycott of the electoral process and involvement in armed conflict with the government. However, following the cessation-of-hostilities agreement, EISA was able to start its activities with RENAMO in September 2014 beginning with training 14,000 party poll-watchers and polling officials for Election Day.

Due to organizational constraints - delays in identifying and recruiting party poll-watchers - the opposition parties were less effective in replicating the training at the lower levels. However, all three parties managed to exceed the replication target of 3,200 party poll-watchers per party by a significant margin due to cost-contention measures applied by the parties themselves in the replication phases of the training. On Election Day, FRELIMO deployed 37,000 party poll-watchers, RENAMO 26,000 and the MDM 25,000 agents, meaning that EISA's support provided for the training of 84% of FRELIMO's deployed party poll-watchers, 54% of RENAMO's and 24% of the MDM's.

At the time, EISA, was the only external partner training party poll-watchers. It can be noted that, its intervention improved the quality of party poll-watchers, and the role they played at many polling stations which were faced with attempts of electoral malpractice. This role was widely recognised by both national and international observers and the media, compared to previous electoral processes.

2013 Party poll-watchers training

EISA continued to provide support to the three Mozambican political parties with seats in parliament, namely FRELIMO, RENAMO and MDM. In 2013, EISA's support to political parties, was provided primarily through funding for training and technical assistance. The training focused primarily on providing the parties with capacity to monitor the electoral process.

FRELIMO equipped with election monitoring capacity

Eleven central-level trainers and 60 province-level trainers for party election monitoring were trained in Maputo and in each province in September. These trainers were in charge of training all FRELIMO election monitors for the 53 municipal elections scheduled for 20 November 2013. With EISA's support, FRELIMO was able to have trained trainers in every municipality who in turn delivered training to their peers locally.

MDM equipped with election monitoring skills

EISA supported the training of 1,000 MDM party poll-watchers in 12 municipalities. This allowed the party to have fully-trained party poll-watchers in all polling stations in those municipalities. The party acknowledged that this training increased significantly the party's ability to monitor the elections at the polling station level, and contributed decisively to improve the quality of the party poll-watchers' performance as compared to previous elections.

FRELIMO party election agents trainers trained

Nov 2011

EISA supported the training of trainers for FRELIMO party election agents for three municipal by-elections held in November 2011.

2007 Political parties poll watching

A regional workshop on poll watching was convened by EISA's Elections and Political Processes under its political party support activities. Representatives from the ruling and main opposition political parties from Southern African countries, namely Mozambique, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zanzibar and Zambia, attended the workshop.

The workshop provided an environment in which political parties shared their experiences in poll watching and highlighted ways in which they can further their engagement in the electoral process beyond their traditional role as contestants. The workshop highlighted the role that political parties can play in enhancing democracy generally and in promoting election integrity specifically through the election monitoring work that is undertaken by their agents at election time.

2004 Electoral legislation handbook

EISA also produced handbooks on electoral legislation, in English and Portuguese. It was widely distributed to both citizen and international observers as well as to political parties. The National Electoral Commission disseminated it to its staff throughout the country.

2003 Party poll-watcher training in Mozambique

Prior to the 2003 Mozambique elections, CMEE prepared a programme for party poll-watcher training and provided trainers to train party poll-watchers throughout the country. The train-the-trainer component took place in Maputo. A local partner was identified who assisted EISA in project delivery. Towards the end of 2003 these type of activities were transferred from CMEE to Elections and Political Processes under its political party support activities.