Mozambique: Frelimo Sets Up Election Office

Maputo — Mozambique's ruling Frelimo Party on Friday announced the creation of an Office to Prepare for the General Elections scheduled for 15 October.

At a Maputo press conference, the Frelimo secretary for mobilization and propaganda, Damiao Jose, said the Election Office will be headed by the party's new general secretary, Eliseu Machava, who was elected to the post at a meeting of the Central Committee last Sunday.

Machava will be assisted by the outgoing general secretary, Filipe Paunde. The office will include the Frelimo presidential candidate, Defence Minister Filipe Nyusi.

Jose also announced that Frelimo will hold a National Cadre Meeting from 7 to 9 May, and an extraordinary meeting of the Central Committee on 12-13 May.

He did not announce an agenda for either of these events, but said that the Cadres Meeting would certainly analyse the situation in the country and prepare a Frelimo victory in the presidential and parliamentary elections.

Jose said that Frelimo is also demanding an immediate end to the armed attacks carried out by gunmen of the former rebel movement Renamo, and the immediate disarming of Renamo, as a necessary condition to guarantee the freedom of movement of people and goods throughout the country

“Renamo has shown that it is not a political force and it does not want peace”, said Jose. “It only knows how to kill and to hold back development. Frelimo rejects the time wasting manoeuvres of this party, which continues to sow mourning and sorrow in Mozambican families, even while it is continuing its dialogue with the government”.

“Renamo is killing the very people whom it will later ask to vote for it”, he added.

He did not believe that Renamo is a serious negotiating partner. Renamo demanded something, and when that was granted, it immediately demanded something else - eloquent evidence, in Jose's eyes, that this was “a criminal organisation”.

Renamo had demanded sweeping changes in the electoral legislations, and made this the excuse for its armed attacks. Last month all of Renamo's main demands were granted, but the armed attacks are continuing, and Renamo is now demanding “international mediation” in its talks with the government.

Jose warned that, for as long as Renamo continued to ambush and to kill, the Mozambican armed forces (FADM) would not sit back passively, but would comply with their mission to defend the country.

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