Mozambique: Do not underestimate the enemy, says Nyusi - AIM
FILE - Leonor de Sousa, secretary general of the Democratic Movement of Mozambique (MDM) in Gorongosa district on June 7 022. [File photo: MDM]
The Mozambican president recently said, during the closing of the 5th session of the Frelimo Central Committee, that the country “must reflect” on the feasibility of the district elections scheduled for 2024.
Filipe Nyusi stressed that his party was committed to the decentralisation process, but advocated that the conditions necessary for the deepening of this movement should be evaluated.
Speaking to DW, Leonor de Sousa, secretary general of the Democratic Movement of Mozambique (MDM), was categorical.
“I think that it is a question of looking for a way to try to revise the Constitution. What he [Filipe Nyusi] wants is to make a possible revision of the Constitution of the Republic and change other things. There is no doubt about it.” she said.
“The government has to think beforehand, think about the disadvantages, the damage that these changes could cause,” she warned.
“There was a lot of pressure”
Leonor de Sousa looked back to before district elections was enshrined in the country’s fundamental law.
“There was a lot of pressure at the time, with Afonso Dhlakama still alive, and Frelimo didn’t want to, but then it ended up accepting [the agreement] and the issue went to the Assembly of the Republic. It was discussed, and today it is in the Constitution of the Republic,” she recalls.
De Sousa stresses that the MDM will “comply with what is in the Constitution of the Republic”, and that the party is “in favour of holding district elections”.
When asked whether Mozambique’s third-largest political party is prepared for these elections, Leonor de Sousa says that “the problem is not the MDM”.
“The problem is that we also have to think about the people, the population. The population is prepared and already has expectations. And we were also preparing the population in that sense. We are doing politics. We are working to get there, to the districts,” she said.
The choice of district assemblies and district administrators is part of the Peace and National Reconciliation Agreement signed in August 2019 between the Front for the Liberation of Mozambique (Frelimo) government and the Mozambican National Resistance (Renamo), the main opposition party, which maintains an armed wing that is in the process of Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR).
Mozambique begins a new electoral cycle in 2023, with the holding of local elections, followed by presidential, legislative and provincial elections in 2024.