Frelimo Secretary General distances party from those who harm economic growth
Photo: O País
The mayoral candidate for Maputo of Mozambique’s ruling Frelimo Party has regretted the disqualification of two of his opponents, Venancio Mondlane and Samora Machel Junior (“Samito”).
Mondlane polled very well in the last municipal elections, in 2013, when he took 40 per cent of the vote in Maputo. At that time, he was the mayoral candidate of the Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM).
About three months ago, Mondlane defected from the MDM to the former rebel movement Renamo, which immediately made him head of its list (and hence mayoral candidate) in Maputo.
As for Machel, he had hoped to be the Frelimo candidate. But he claimed the inner-party election was not transparent, and opted to run as an independent, as the mayoral candidate of AJUDEM (Youth Association for the Development of Mozambique), a civil society grouping regarded as close to Frelimo.
But the National Elections Commission (CNE) disqualified the entire AJUDEM list because it did not have enough candidates (67) and Mondlane because he had resigned from the Maputo Municipal Assembly in 2014, and people who resign from municipal office may not stand in the next set of elections. Renamo and AJUDEM appealed to the Constitutional Council, the highest body in matters of constitutional and electoral law, but without success.
One person not pleased with these developments is Eneas Comiche. On Sunday, speaking to reporters in the Maputo neighbourhood of Chamanculo, he said he did not feel comfortable with the exclusion of Mondlane and Machel.
“It would have been good had they participated”, he said, “because certainly they were prepared to make their contribution”.
Their removal from the stage “brings me no comfort at all”, he said. “I don’t know what promises they wanted to make in their election manifestos, but I am not comfortable”.
Although they could no longer stand as candidates, he was sure that Mondlane and Machel “will find some way of transmitting their message”.
Comiche told residents of Chamanculo that he wanted to renovate the city’s sports facilities. “We have to build football fields, and we have to find space for the construction of a multi-use field for sports. We want to comply with this promise in every neighbourhood of the city. Only thus will we be able to occupy our young people”.
The Frelimo first secretary in Maputo, Francisco Mabjaia, said he was pleased at the results from Comiche’s “pre-campaign”, in which the candidate has spoken with various segments of society, including farmers, market sellers, teachers and transport operators.
“We feel that Frelimo’s agenda really deserves the support of Maputo citizens”, he said. “What we hope is that they will confirm this support by voting for Frelimo”.
As for Machel, who is the son of the country’s first President, Mabjaia said that, although he had headed the AJUDEM list, he is still a member of Frelimo. In line with the duties of a party member, as expressed in the Frelimo statutes, Mabjaia said he assumed that the Frelimo candidates will be able to count on Machel’s support on 10 October.
But when Machel spoke to the press last Wednesday, he was careful not to offer this explicit support. While he urged all citizens to vote, he was careful not to tell them who they should vote for.Source: AIM
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