Maputo — Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi has appointed temporary governors for the provinces of Niassa, Cabo Delgado and Manica.
The governors of these provinces, respectively Francisco Tomas, Julio Parruque and Manuel Rodrigues, have all been granted leave of absence, to allow them to dedicate themselves to the election campaign for the provincial assemblies and provincial governors , which starts on 31 August.
This is in line with the electoral law, which states that any candidate for membership of a provincial assembly has the right to be exempted from his or her normal duties in the 45 days prior to the election.
Nyusi appointed Leda Hugo, the Deputy Minister of Science and Technology, as interim governor of Niassa. The Deputy Minister of Education, Armindo Ngunga, takes over in Cabo Delgado, while Deputy Transport Minister Manuel Rebelo becomes temporary governor of Manica.
None of the three have been relieved of their government responsibilities. The temporary governorships are for 60 days, and after this period, Tomas, Parruque and Rodrigues are expected to resume their positions.
A complicating factor is that all three are waging their campaign in other provinces - Tomas in Manica, Parruque in Maputo and Rodrigues in Nampula - which the main opposition party, the former rebel movement Renamo, argues is illegal. Renamo has threatened to take the matter to the Attorney-General's Office.