Mozambique: RD Allowed to Run in Eight Municipalities

Maputo — Mozambique's National Elections Commission (CNE) has finally allowed Democratic Revolution (RD), a breakaway from the main opposition party, Renamo, to stand in eight out of the ten municipalities where it wanted to run candidates in the 11 October municipal elections.

Initially, the CNE had rejected the RD candidature outright, because it had been delivered beyond the deadline of 11 August.

But the Constitutional Council, the country's highest body in matters of constitutional and electoral law, overruled the CNE, and ordered that the RD be given an extra three days to submit its nomination papers.

This arose from an earlier Constitutional Council ruling which had given the RD ten days to change its symbol, which contained portraits of the first commander of Renamo, Andre Matangaissa, and his successor, Afonso Dhlakama.

Since some voters might confuse the RD with Renamo, the Council ordered it to change its symbol. It did so, and the new symbol contains nothing that could connect the RD to Renamo.

The final hurdle was to collect all the paperwork for the RD candidates by the new deadline. It succeeded for eight municipalities - namely Maputo, Matola, Matola-Rio, Marromeu, Tete, Nacala, Lichinga and Metangula.

But, according to CNE spokesperson Paulo Cuinica, the RD failed to deliver nomination papers in order for candidates in Nampula and Chimoio.

The CNE met in extraordinary session on Thursday to approve the ballot paper for the municipal elections.

Lots had already been drawn for positions on the ballot. Since they are the only parties contesting all 65 municipalities, the three parliamentary parties will occupy the top three positions on the ballot paper - the Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM) in first place, Renamo in second place, and the ruling Frelimo Party in third.

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