Maputo, 14 Aug (AIM) – Democratic Revolution (RD), a party formed by dissidents from Mozambique’s main opposition force, Renamo, on Monday submitted a letter to the Maputo headquarters of the National Elections Commission (CNE) protesting at its exclusion from the municipal elections scheduled for 11 October.
The RD leader, Vitano Singano, told reporters that his party “will not allow itself to be excluded for unclear reasons”.
In fact, the reason is very clear. RD, and two other small parties, were excluded because they missed the deadline of 15.30 last Friday for delivering the nomination papers of their candidates to the CNE.
The CNE spokesperson, Paulo Cuinica, had made it clear that there would be no extension to the deadline.
Singano insisted that the RD had arrived with all the documents at 14.30 on Friday, and thus beat the deadline. But unless he has some way of proving this, the CNE will certainly throw out the RD complaint.
Singano said that, if that happens, the RD will appeal to the Supreme Court. Presumably he meant the Constitutional Council, the country’s highest body in matters of constitutional and electoral law. The Supreme Court plays no role in election appeals.
RD has already had one clash with the Constitutional Council. The Council had ruled that the RD cannot use on its symbol pictures of former Renamo leaders (Andre Matsangaissa and Afonso Dhlakama), and gave the RD ten days to submit a new symbol.
Initially, Singano said he would not obey the Council’s ruling and would contest the elections with its existing symbol. He thought better of this defiance, and on Monday told reporters that the RD has submitted a new symbol to the Council.
Protests to the CNE against exclusion must be made between 18 and 20 August. Appeals against the CNE decision to the Constitutional Council should be made between 21 and 23 August.