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Online Platform ‘Txeka La’ Challenges Mozambicans to Be Election Observers

"Every citizen can be an observer." Image from Txeka's Facebook page.

“Every citizen can be an observer.” Image from Txeka's Facebook page.

Mozambicans can now help keep a watchful eye on upcoming elections from their local region using online platform “Txeka Lá” (local Portuguese slang for “Check it”). Created by Olho do Cidadão – A group of young students from Eduardo Mondlane University in Maputo. Txeka Lá aims for more transparency and promotes non-violence in the current elections by asking people to report any suspicious acts they see firsthand.

Elections are scheduled for October 15. According to National Election Committee (CNE – Portuguese acronym), around 11 million people will be eligible to vote for the country's next government, which will remain in power for a term of five years.

The political landscape of Mozambique bears the scars of a 15-year-long civil war following independence from Portugal in 1975. The country held its first democratic elections in 1994. Since then, election periods have witnessed episodes of violence.

In some regions of Mozambique, violence has recently been reported between members of main opposition parties. Officials and many civilian organisations, such as Txeka Lá, are thus working to stop the violence and make these upcoming elections more transparent.  

Any citizen can be an observer by recording the facts using images, videos and reports

Txeka Lá mainly relies on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to operate. Users can also send in reports via SMS, given that Internet access rates are still very low in comparison to other neighbouring countries. 

The platform then takes the reports it receives to the authorities such as CNE and the police, so that they can take action.

In these elections we need to prevent any kind of violence. Report all signs of violence by sharing it

“It is very important to know how to report a situation,” says the same organisation on their Facebook page: 

A transparência só será possível se as pessoas tiverem a possibilidade de observar as eleições e souberem como fazê-los.

Transparency will only be possible if people are given the opportunity to watch and know how to observe.

This post was updated on October 29, 2014 at 16:55 GMT+11. An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated “Created by a group of local civilian organisations”. Thanks to Uric Raul Mandiquisse for spotting the error.

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