Mozambique: Assembly to Meet in Extraordinary Session

Maputo — The Mozambican parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, will meet in extraordinary session later this month to approve the Peace and National Reconciliation Agreement signed a week ago in Maputo by President Filipe Nyusi and the leader of the former rebel movement Renamo, Ossufo Momade.

The Assembly's governing board, its Standing Commission, on Tuesday set the dates for the extraordinary session as 21-23 August.

Speaking after the meeting, the First Deputy Chairperson of the Assembly, Antonio Amelia, said he believed approval of the agreement will be consensual. All three parties represented in the Assembly, the ruling Frelimo Party, Renamo and the Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM), have already indicated that they support the agreement.

Amelia said that the Assembly will also be asked to ratify the appointment of Lucia Ribeiro, as the new chairperson of the Constitutional Council, Mozambique's highest body in matters of constitutional and electoral law. Nyusi appointed Ribeiro following the resignation of the previous chairperson, Heremegildo Gamito, on 5 June. Gamito gave his age (he is 75) as his reason for stepping down.

The Assembly will also appoint new judges to the Constitutional Council to replace those whose five year terms of office are over. Of the seven judges on the Council five are appointed by the political parties in the Assembly in proportion to the number of seats they hold.

A sixth judge is appointed by the Higher Council of the Judicial Magistrature (CSMJ), the regulatory body for judge, while the seventh, the chair, is appointed by the President and ratified by the Assembly.

All judges on the Council must be at least 35 years old, with at least ten years of legal experience.

Amelia said without giving any details, that the extraordinary sitting will also debate amendments to the law on the armed forces, and discuss the statute of the Assembly's own staff.

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