10 June 2019

Mozambique: Renamo Registers for General Elections

Photo: Romeu da Silva/DW
Mozambique elections (file photo).

Maputo — Mozambique's main opposition party, the former rebel movement Renamo, on Monday registered with the National Elections Commission (CNE) to take part in the general elections scheduled for 15 October.

The Party's national election agent, Venancio Mondlane, submitted the paperwork to the CNE, and told reporters he was certain that Renamo will win the elections.

"We are entering these elections with a great deal of confidence, strengthened with the political work we have been undertaking, particularly after the municipal elections", he said. "We are very confident".

Renamo did very well in the October 2018 elections, winning in eight of the 53 municipalities, its best local election result ever. The Renamo haul included two of the country's largest cities, Nampula and Quelimane. Observers and journalists noted that serious irregularities and fraud deprived Renamo of victory in four other municipalities.

The registration, which is a pre-condition for submitting candidates, consists of delivering to the CNE copies of the party's statutes, its name, acronym and symbol, and a list of members of the party leadership. The party must also provide the name of its election agent, with a copy of the party document appointing him, and proof that he or she is a registered voter with no criminal record.

The deadline for registration is 15 June. The other two major parties, the ruling Frelimo Party and the Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM), registered last week, as did 15 other parties. Some of these are brand new, while others are organisations that appear every time there is an election, secure less than one per cent of the votes, and then go into hibernation for the next five years.

Candidates for the presidential election must submit their nomination to the Constitutional Council, the country's highest body in matters of constitutional and electoral law. So far only the Frelimo candidate, President Filipe Nyusi, who is running for a second term of office, has submitted his nomination.

The Renamo candidate is its new leader, Ossufo Momade, who was elected after the death of Afonso Dhlakama in May 2018. Momade was to have presented his nomination papers on Tuesday afternoon, but Mondlane told AIM this has been postponed, and that the Renamo Political Commission is still discussing when to submit the paperwork.

Currently Momade is living at the Renamo military headquarters in the central district of Gorongosa. It is not legally necessary for Momade to present his nomination in person, and the task could be left in the hands of Mondlane, as election agent.

There is not much time left. All presidential nominations must be delivered to the Constitutional Council by 15.30 on Sunday, 16 June.

All candidates for the presidency must submit evidence that they are Mozambican citizens over the age of 35, are registered voters, and have a clean criminal record. They must provide a coloured photograph, a copy of their election symbol, and a declaration that they accept nomination and are eligible.

But the most difficult requirement is that any presidential candidate must present a list of at least 10,000 (but no more then 20,000) supporters, all of whom must sign a form with the portrait of the candidate. Each signature must be recognised by a public notary.

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