Mozambique elections: CNE narrowly approves election results - AIM
File photo: Lusa
Renamo leader Ossufo Momade deplores “foreign involvement” in the attempt to curb the insurgency in northern Mozambique and warns that a one-party regime is being set up in the country.
The leader of the Mozambican National Resistance (Renamo) on Saturday accused the Mozambican government of doing the wrong thing by hiring Russian mercenaries to combat Islamic insurgents in the north of the country, and ignoring the real problem of the population.
“The government of Mozambique went to Russia and brought in mercenaries,” he said, but “those who performed that military intervention are no longer there today” because “they saw that something was wrong,” and was failing to solve the problems, which “have deep causes” and manifest “the social and economic divisions of that region,” Momade said.
As CNN reported last November, the mercenaries active in the region are associated with Yevgeny Prigozhin, a St. Petersburg oligarch so close to the Kremlin that he is known as President Vladimir Putin’s “chef”. The oligarch’s companies have been sanctioned by the US Treasury Department for their actions in Syria and for funding the Internet Research Agency, which was responsible for Russian attempts to interfere with the 2016 US elections. It now appears to be associated with an attempt to stem the rebellion in Mozambique threatening to disrupt crucial foreign investment in the country’s natural gas reserves believed to be worth billions of dollars. A business that the Russians seem very interested in. Moscow has denied any involvement.
For Momade, “foreign involvement is diluting Mozambican thinking” about the social and religious conflicts that are at the root of attacks on civilian targets or in areas related to the oil sector, which is making heavy investments in Cabo Delgado province.
In a telephone interview with Lusa, the head of Mozambique’s largest opposition party that “the first thing” it wanted the government to do was to present the matter of the conflict in Cabo Delgado to the Assembly of the Republic, “promoting discussion of how best to solve the problem”, but “it hasn’t been done yet”.
The attacks are estimated to have caused hundreds of casualties, but the “European Union has a different way of thinking” about the problem, foreseeing social and economic investment in communities to achieve a desirable outcome in the province, Momade said.
“We do not agree with military intervention,” the Renamo leader said, adding: “The Government has never come public to say what the origin [of these groups] is or who they are,” preferring to “deceive the Mozambican population” and close the area to the press. “Every day, Mozambicans die, their homes are destroyed, but no one knows what is going on in Cabo Delgado,” he notes, and “this situation is spreading to other districts.”
The “evidence” of electoral fraud
Ossufo Momade also called on the international community to halt the slide towards “one-party dictatorship” in Mozambique, and warned that his party was still to decide if its elected officials are to take office.
According to the preliminary results of the Mozambican elections of 15 October, the Mozambican Liberation Front (Frelimo) won with a qualified majority in parliament and current president Filipe Nyusi was re-elected with 73% of the votes. Renamo does not recognise the results, claiming that it has evidence of fraud.
If the Constitutional Council confirms the results, Renamo will bring together “the party organs: the national political commission and the national council”, because the decision whether take office in the seats where Renamo was elected cannot be the result of “a position of the [party] president alone,” Momade said.
“[To say] whether or not the MPs will take office … is premature at this time,” and in December “the bodies will meet and decide what the party will decide,” the Renamo leader, who ended a visit to the Netherlands on Saturday, explained.
Momade took with him on his trip a box with “bulletins that are out of the National Electoral Commission (CNE) circuit” and are pre-filled with a cross against the Frelimo candidates. “This time, we bring evidence that proves electoral fraud,” Momade said, adding that international observers “cannot be silent” in the face of “such clear evidence”.
“In Mozambique, there is a regime that does not want to relinquish power and, in order not to lose power, uses the police” against the opposition, he said, adding: “It is a coalition of the police, the CNE and the STAE (Technical Secretariat of Electoral Administration) to restrain Renamo.”
In the Netherlands, Momade met Renamo’s international partners, including the Dutch Institute for Multiparty Democracy. “We trust in the international community insofar that it would not want us to return to the mistakes of the past,” with its long-running civil war, he said.Source: Diário de Noticias / Lusa
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