Maputo, 10 Jul (AIM) – The Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM), the country’s second largest opposition party, declared on Monday that it will only announce its mayoral candidates for the October municipal elections after a decision has been taken on whether it will fight the elections alone, or in coalition with the main opposition force, Renamo.
The MDM national election agent, Lurinda Cheia, on Monday formally delivered the MDM’s candidacy to the National Elections Commission (CNE).
Among the documentation that each competing party must submit to the CNE are copies of its Statutes and symbol, the certificate proving that it is duly registered, a list of members of the party leadership, and the identification of the party’s election agent.
The election agent must present a certified copy of his or her identity card, and criminal record certificate, and the party decision that appointed him or her the agent.
Cheia told reporters that in March the MDM National Council had instructed the party leadership to discuss a possible coalition with Renamo. She said MDM leader Lutero Simango has met with the Renamo leadership, who told him the party was waiting for its internal bodies to meet. Only then would it reply to the MDM request.
“We have been open to a coalition since March”, said Cheia. “We are ready and organized for this. If we haven’t yet announced our mayoral candidates, that is just to allow room for the possibility of a coalition. Right now, we are continuing to wait”.
Renamo has not extended the same courtesy to the MDM. Instead it has already announced its mayoral candidates for several of the largest municipalities, making it very clear that, if any coalition is formed, Renamo will be calling the shots.
Cheia added that, if Renamo says nothing about the prospects of a coalition within the next two weeks, the MDM will publish its list of candidates. It would have to do so then, in order to comply with the electoral calendar.
Cheia said the MDM intends to compete in all 65 municipalities “on a footing of equality”.
She denied reports that Simango himself intends to stand for Mayor of either Maputo or Beira (where his brother Davis Simango, the founder of the MDM, was mayor from 2003 to his death in February 2021).
It was never the intention of the MDM or of Simango that he should stand in these elections, Cheia said.
CNE member Rodrigues Timba said the CNE is analyzing the legality of all the document submitted by the parties that intend to stand candidates in October.
He made it clear that the main purpose of this scrutiny is to ensure that no party has a name, acronym or symbol that might be confused with that of any other party.