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Alice Mabota was disqualified from the presidential race in Mozambique last week
In an interview with DW, Alice Mabota says that her candidacy for the presidency of Mozambique “rocked the system a bit”, so she was not surprised by its rejection by the Constitutional Council.
The Constitutional Council of Mozambique (CC) last week rejected the nominations of Maria Alice Mabota, Hélder Mendonça and Eugénio Estêvão for the presidential race on October 15.
The candidacies admitted were: Filipe Nyusi, for the Liberation Front of Mozambique (Frelimo); Ossufo Momade, for the Mozambican National Resistance (Renamo); Daviz Simango, for the Democratic Movement of Mozambique (MDM); and Mário Albino, for the extra-parliamentary Action of the Movement Kingdom for Integral Salvation (AMUSI).
With 44 years of independence behind it, and now on its way to its sixth round of general elections, Mozambique had, before Alice Mabota, never seen a female candidate for the presidency.
Running for the Democratic Alliance Coalition (CAD), Mabota saw 5,611 signatures out of a total of 13,160 invalidated by the Constitutional Council of Mozambique.
Alice Mabota told DW Africa that this was an “administrative and political” rejection, not a technical one, because all signatures supporting her candidacy were recognised by the country’s notary public services.
DW Africa: The CC rejected your candidacy for the presidency of Mozambique. How do you react to this?
Alice Mabota (AM): This was expected to happen. My candidacy rocked the system a lot, even opposition parties, because they saw that I had a strong candidacy. So they arranged things to say that we [supposedly] hadn’t submitted the papers properly. So much so that they even insult our intelligence by saying there are counterfeit signatures, as if we are counterfeiters.
DW Africa: What went wrong with your application?
AM: Nothing. What went wrong was that I scared them. It is not true what they say, that there were “baked” and “cooked” signatures. All signatures are “raw”. There is no signature that was not recognised by the notary public. I am gathering the data and I will publish it to show where, even in some legal articles, the CC itself was mistaken. This rejection is administrative and political. It is not technical.
DW Africa: In this case, was your application wrongly judged?
AM: To say “judgement” would mean that it was analysed, but there was no judgement. Even the ruling itself had already been decided. I was followed by intelligence [Services]. And, on Monday (29.07), the Intelligence disappeared, because it already had the ruling. That was a foreshadowing. And I warned the people that I was amazed that Intelligence was no longer pursuing me … And on Wednesday (31.07), the candidacy fell. They don’t even know how to evaluate things.
DW Africa: Once your application has been rejected, what is your next step?
AM: I think of turning this rejection into a force so that I may carry out actions that allow me to be strong. I did not lose the war, but the battle. Battles are often lost, but wars must be won.
DW Africa: What do you mean losing a battle and not a war?
AM: That means I will continue to fight until I achieve what I want the state to be, because I didn’t apply for the post as such. I want to step up the momentum for change in this country and I will succeed.
DW Africa: Do you expect to run in 2024?
AM: Why not?
DW Africa: Given the rejection of your application, will your coalition support any of the admitted candidates?
AM: We are still discussing this.
DW Africa: In Mozambique, the issue of women’s emancipation and political participation is much discussed. How do you evaluate what political discourse preaches and what reality shows?
AM: There are many fallacies. The state talks a lot, but there are no sanctions and no unity among women. At this point, women should object and make public that we want to know in detail how our candidate was rejected. And a matter of strategy for a healthy government would be: ‘If she has no support, let her run, to find out that there is no one who supports her’. But why didn’t they do this? Because they are aware that there is support, people want it, but the system does not allow it.
My assessment is that they are not prepared to be run by women. And the women in the parties are people who obey when they tell them [what to do]. The day they realize that a woman’s [candidacy] rejection is a rejection of themselves, then they will take action.
Source: Deutsche Welle
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