President accuses Renamo of threatening populations in central Mozambique
File photo: BBC
The Constitutional Council, Mozambique’s highest body in matters of constitutional and electoral law, announced on Wednesday that it has extended the deadline for the submission of nomination papers for the 15 October presidential election by a month.
Under an earlier Council decision of February, presidential candidates had until 16 June (next Sunday) to submit their nominations. Now the deadline has been extended to 16 July.
This is because the country’s parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, unexpectedly changed the law governing presidential elections. The original law, of 2013, stated that candidates must deposit their nominations up to 120 days before the date of the election. The amended law, passed in May this year, cuts this deadline to 90 days before the election.
Would-be presidential candidates thus have an extra month to gather the 10,000 supporting signatures they each need.
This will make little difference to the three main candidates – President Filipe Nyusi of the ruling Frelimo Party (who is running for a second term of office), Ossufo Momade, leader of the former rebel movement Renamo, and Daviz Simango, Mayor of Beira, and leader of the Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM). Indeed, both Nyusi and Simango have already delivered their nomination papers.
The extra 30 days may give candidates from minor parties the time they need to gather supporting signatures. All the signatures must be recognised by a notary, and all must be on a form that also contains a photograph of the candidate.
In previous elections, minor candidates sometimes forged signatures, or even copied names off the electoral register. The fraud was easily discovered by the Constitutional Council which notified the Public Prosecutor’s Office – which then took no action, even though forging election documents is a serious criminal offence.
The other requirements for Presidential candidates are unchanged. Any would-be candidate must present his or her full identification, proof that he or she is a registered voter and a Mozambican citizen over the age of 35, with a clean criminal record.
The candidate must also supply a colour photograph, the symbol that he or she intends to use in the election campaign, and a declaration accepting nomination. The candidate must also provide details of his or her election agent.Source: AIM