30 January 2014

Mozambique: Opposition Scraps Election Boycott Threat

Mozambique's main opposition party said Thursday it no longer planned to boycott upcoming elections, amid a violent conflict with the government, prompting a delay in the start of registration.Renamo MP and chief negotiator,Saimon Macuiane said his party will register and contest the local and national polls.For month,s Renamo supporters and government forces have clashed in Mozambique's central province, skirmishes which faintly echo the country's brutal 16-year civil war.

People have died in the clashes, many of them civilians.Renamo had boycotted country-wide municipal polls last year demanding equal representation on the bodies overseeing the polls.But its u-turn will raise hopes that Mozambique is stepping away from a conflict that had spooked foreign investors and Mozambicans still weary from a war that killed a million people.Renamo resumed stalled talks with government negotiators on Monday, aimed at easing hostilities.

The government said it would delay the start of voter registration by two weeks in order to give Renamo time.The change in the electoral registration period is a result of a request by the Renamo party, Mozambique's Council of Ministers said in a statement.Presidential, parliamentary and regional assembly elections are scheduled to take place on 15 October.

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