Maputo — Massinga (Mozambique), 13 May (AIM) - Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi, speaking in his capacity as President of the ruling Frelimo Party, on Friday urged the grass roots of the party's youth, women's and veterans' organisations to mobilise the public to register as voters, ahead of the general elections scheduled for 15 October.
Nyusi was speaking in the town of Massinga, in the southern province of Inhambane, during a meeting with local Frelimo militants, intended to launch an awareness raising campaign about the voter registration. The registration began on 15 April, and is due to end on 30 May.
Nyusi stressed the need for unity and cohesion, and for all Frelimo members to be aligned around a common goal, which is "to win the elections on 15 October". He insisted that he wanted to see victory in the election by a comfortable rather than a narrow margin.
Resorting to Frelimo's official statistics, which show that the party has around four million members, Nyusi said that, if they all turn out to vote, there is no reason why the party should not score an easy victory.
The Frelimo first secretary in Inhambane, Dinis Vilanclos, declared that Frelimo has 379,000 members in this province, of which 111,475 have so far registered as voters. "With these numbers, we are sure that Frelimo in Inhambane will emerge victorious", he said.
In fact, the number does not look remotely encouraging.The registration period is past the half way mark, but less than 30 per cent of Frelimo's claimed membership in the province has bothered to register.
But the membership figures are clearly inflated. In the 2014 presidential election, Nyusi won with 2.8 million votes, while Frelimo took 2.6 million votes in the parliamentary election. So either large numbers of Frelimo members did not vote, or the membership figures are exaggerated.
Nyusi also told the Massinga meeting that internal party elections, to choose Frelimo parliamentary candidates, are approaching. They should be "a moment to strengthen democracy inside the party, by choosing the best of the best", he said.
There should be Frelimo mobilisation in all districts, Nyusi said, and the grass roots party branches, who know the reality of the local communities, are the key to success.
He wanted the branches to recruit new members. The number of Frelimo members "should always increase", he declared.