Maputo, 18 Jul (AIM) – The leader of Mozambique’s second opposition party, the Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM), Lutero Simango, on Tuesday met with the head of the tiny Mozambique Independent Party (PIMO), Yaqub Sibindy, to announce collaboration in the run-up to the municipal elections scheduled for 11 October.
The meeting came as something of a surprise, since nowadays nobody takes PIMO or Sibindy very seriously. PIMO is a disguised Islamic party. When it was set up, in 1993, the intention was to call it the Mozambican Islamic Party – but since Mozambican legislation bans religious names for political parties, PIMO had to claim that the “I” stands for Independent.
PIMO has no seats in the Mozambican parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, or in any of the provincial or municipal assemblies. Despite this record of failure, Sibindy declared that PIMO “wants to help the MDM win more municipalities”.
Cited by the independent television station STV, he said “The MDM has already done its part. It would be cowardice for PIMO to watch the MDM lose the election in Beira” (currently the only municipality governed by the MDM).
“What unites us is only opposition”, said Sibindy. “We don’t have any other brand. This is a movement for changing governance”.
The possibility of a coalition between the MDM and the main opposition party, Renamo, seems to have evaporated. According to the MDM, Renamo never replied to the coalition proposal it presented,
However, on Monday the Renamo mayoral candidate for Maputo, Venancio Mondlane, said that unity between the two parties did not happen because of legal problems and time constraints.
Cited in the independent newssheet “Mediafax”, Mondlane said Renamo had been busy denouncing the illegalities that occurred during the voter registration that ran from 20 April to 3 June. That left it with no time to organize a process as legally complex as forming an electoral coalition.
Nonetheless, he said Renamo remains open to other forms of partnership that fall short of a full coalition.
Unlike Renamo and the ruling Frelimo Party, the MDM has not yet presented its mayoral candidates.
Simango told reporters “the process is taking place internally. We will have a meeting throughout this week to divulge the MDM’s candidates for the municipal elections”.