Maputo, 12 Jul (AIM) – Mozambique’s ruling Frelimo Party on Tuesday registered to take part in the municipal elections scheduled for 11 October.
The Party’s national election agent, Foreign Minister Veronica Macamo, delivered the required documents (including 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) to the National Elections Commission (CNE).
Macamo declined to announce the names of any of the Frelimo candidates. She said that “internal work” is under way inside the party which will be concluded between 15 and 17 July. Only after those dates would the names of Frelimo’s definitive mayoral candidates be known.
“As you know, our Party has a very profound democratic procedure”, she told reporters. “So up until now nobody knows who will be the mayoral candidates. Only after these dates will that be possible. Certainly, after this period we can say who will the faces of Frelimo in these elections”.
In fact, there have been copious leaks from within Frelimo, with the result that the public already knows who is likely to head the Frelimo lists of candidates in many of the municipalities.
Thus the candidate for Mayor of Maputo will almost certainly be Razaque Manhique, a young businessman who is currently the Frelimo First Secretary for the city. Tipped to head the Frelimo list in Beira is the current Secretary of State for Sofala province, Stella Zeca Pinto.
A former chairperson of the ports and rail company (CFM), Rosario Mualeia, is likely to be the Frelimo candidate in Nampula. One of Frelimo’s most well-respected mayors, Joao Ferreira, will probably run for a second term of office in the central city of Chimoio.
Macamo declared that the municipal elections should be free and fair, and held in a festive environment, because of the current climate of peace and tranquillity in the country.
She was referring to the closure of the last military base of the main opposition party, Renamo, and the demobilization of its last militia members. She was convinced that no political party would be fighting these elections with guns in its hands.
“This is a moment when we show to the world, and particularly to ourselves and to the younger generation, that brothers have to be real brothers, regarding each other with the love and tenderness of brothers who, during their lives, will have differences, but these will end in dialogue”, Macamo declared.
She did not dwell on the various scandals that stained the voter registration, held from 20 April to 3 June, and which threaten to cast a shadow over the elections.
Macamo said Frelimo is standing candidates in all 65 municipalities, as are the two main opposition forces, Renamo and the Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM). The MDM still hopes to form a coalition with Renamo, but the likelihood of Renamo accepting this seems remote.
According to the CNE, the number of parties and associations who have now registered for the elections has risen to 20. In addition to Frelimo and the MDM, since Friday five groups have registered: namely, the Association of Informal Workers of Mozambique (ASTIMO); Podemos (Portuguese for “We can”); the Green Party; Democratic Revolution (RD); and the Nampula-based Action of the United Movement for Complete Salvation (AMUSI).
The CNE’s Deputy Coordinator for Legal and Ethical Matters, Alberto Sabie, announced on Tuesday that those intending to contest the elections have until Friday to register with the CNE. The names of their candidates can be delivered as from 20 July.
He promised that the CNE will carefully check all the documentation provided by the parties to ensure that they are in line with the electoral legislation.