Mozambique: On road to democratic normality with regional elections - historian
DW (File photo) / President Filipe Nyusi and Anfonso Dhlakama (right) photographed in Gorongosa on August 6, 2017.
Public Integrity Centre (CIP) has warned that the changes to the constitution to end the direct election of mayors announced by President Filipe Nyusi may require popular consultation.
“Ending the direct election of municipal presidents requires a referendum, not a simple vote by parliament,” the Centre for Public Integrity (CIP) said in a statement released on Monday.
The proposal to amend the constitution has been submitted to parliament, after consensus reached in peace negotiations with the leader of the Mozambican National Resistance (Renamo), Afonso Dhlakama.
In addition to the governors of the provinces and the administrators of the districts being indicated by the party that wins control of the respective provincial and district assemblies, the proposal foresees that the election of municipal presidents will change too, and mayors would be chosen by the party in control of the municipal assembly.
The CIP cites articles 275 and 270 of the Mozambican Constitution, which indicate that “the executive body of the municipality is headed by a President elected by universal, direct, equal, secret, personal and periodic suffrage of the citizens” and that the amendment of this type of suffrage requires a referendum.
“Mozambique has never had a national referendum, there is not even a referendum law,” the CIP adds.
Dhlakama against referendum
Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama said on Friday in a TV interview that a referendum was not necessary because the change was the result of negotiations between the government and the opposition.
“The lawyers have their reason as jurists, but they have no reason to speak of a referendum. It has nothing to do with this,” the leader of the largest opposition party said.
On the same day, President Filipe Nyusi announced that he was going to submit the proposal for an amendment of the constitution to the Assembly of the Republic. The proposal “may not be perfect”, Nyusi said, but “at least the step has already been taken”. “I am satisfied,” the head of state added.Source: Deutsche Welle