Maputo, 26 Sep (AIM) – Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi on Monday night called on all the forces competing in the municipal elections scheduled for 11 October to participate in the election campaign in a conscious, orderly and tolerant manner.
The official election campaign runs from 26 September to 8 October in all of the country’s 65 municipalities.
“Each of us must act as a civic educator in preventing acts which contradict the sense of healthy and exemplary democratic co-existence”, said Nyusi. He urged the candidates to concentrate on presenting their election manifestos, and to avoid incendiary speeches and acts of intimidation and violence.
He added that the leaders of the competing political forces have a responsibility in instructing their members to observe strictly the law and the electoral code of conduct.
Nyusi said the police should act with the greatest impartiality, so that the campaign and the entire process up to voting day takes place normally and within the standards of law and order
He also expected the electoral bodies to perform their tasks with transparency and neutrality, treating all the candidates in the same way.
Nyusi claimed that Mozambique is a reference point in the region, the continent and the world because of the high level of citizenship, discipline and patriotic spirit displayed during the process of multiparty democracy.
“Let this example prevail during the election campaign”, he urged.
The Chairperson of the National Elections Commission (CNE), Bishop Carlos Matsinhe, made a similar appeal for a peaceful campaign.
He also urged the competing forces not to repeat the behavior that has marred previous elections, such as the use of children in election rallies and parades.
The candidates, he added, should also not use “drunken youths” or those high on hallucinogenic drugs.
They should take into consideration the principles and duties enshrined in the electoral legislation and in the Code of Conduct for Political Parties in order to ensure free, fair, peaceful, orderly and credible elections, to prevent conflicts and violence, and to guarantee the credibility and acceptability of the election results.
Matsinhe said the stakeholders in the election campaign should distance themselves from all acts of violence or of incitement to hatred “and make this period one of collective reflection on the moral principles of forgiveness, tolerance and reconciliation among Mozambicans”.
But on the eve of the election campaign, on Saturday night, unknown assailants attacked the offices of the opposition Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM) in the city of Xai-Xai, capital of the southern province of Gaza.
The intruders broke into the unguarded office through a window, and stole all the MDM’s election campaign material, as well as other office goods and property.