20 November 2012

Mozambique: Simango Annouces He Will Run for Presidency

Maputo — The mayor of the central Mozambican city of Beira, Daviz Simango, has confidently predicted that he will be the candidate of his party, the Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM), in the presidential election scheduled for 2014.

According to a report in Tuesday’s issue of the independent daily “O Pais”, he based this prediction on the discussions held so far inside MDM branches, in the run-up to the party’s first congress, scheduled for 5-8 December in Beira.

Addressing an extraordinary session of the MDM Political Commission at the weekend, Simango said “from the pace of the work we have been undertaking, and by the way events are unfolding, there is no doubt that I will continue to be the president of the MDM, and that I will be my party’s candidate for President of the Republic in the next general elections”.

“Let there be no doubt”, he added. “The Congress will merely formalize the intention of the Party’s members”.

The Political Commission declared that its priority was to secure Simango’s election as head of state, and to win a majority of seats in the country’s parliament, the Assembly of the Republic. The Congress will lay down the strategy for achieving these ambitious goals.

The spokesperson for the Political Commission meeting, Albano Cariz, declared “there is enormous expectation among Mozambicans, particularly among MDM supporters. Through the contacts we have maintained with them, it is clear that they will make every legal effort, through their votes, to give us a majority in parliament, and to put our candidate in the Presidential palace”.

The Congress is also expected to discuss strategy for the municipal elections of 2013. The MDM currently has mayors in two of the 43 municipalities (Beira and Quelimane) and will be hoping to win many more.

The chances of Simango becoming Mozambican President must be considered remote. The results of the 2009 presidential election were as follows:

Armando Guebuza (Frelimo) – 2,974,627 (75 per cent)

Afonso Dhlakama (Renamo) – 650,679 (16.41 per cent)

Daviz Simango (MDM) – 340,579 (8.59 per cent).

There seems little likelihood of Simango beating whoever Frelimo selects as its candidate (Guebuza is not eligible to stand for a third term) – but a realistic goal would be to replace Renamo as the country’s main opposition party.

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