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The former chairperson of the Mozambican Human Rights League (LDH), Alice Mabota, on Monday became the fifth candidate to present nomination papers for the presidential election scheduled for 15 October.
Mabota is the candidate of the Democratic Alliance Coalition (CAD), a grouping of six small parties. Mabota is not a member of any of them, but told reporters she responded positively to their request to stand.
At the head of the CAD is Manecas Daniel, who leads the Democratic Renewal Party (PRD, which was once a component of the Renamo-Electoral Union coalition. Daniel was briefly coordinator of that coalition. He was a member of the country’s parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, from 1999 until Renamo dissolved the coalition a decade later.
Of the other parties, perhaps the most interesting is the Liberal Party for Sustainable Development (PLDS). This was the party that the late mayor of Nampula, Mahamudo Amurane, was setting up before his assassination in October 2017. Since Amurane was popular and well respected in Nampula, this party might pick up some support there.
The other parties are the grandiosely named PARTONAMO (Party of All the Mozambican Nationalists), PACODE (Democratic Congress Party), PEC-MT (Ecological Party-Land Movement) and PDNM (Party for the National Development of Mozambique).
The nomination papers of all presidential candidates are checked by the Constitutional Council, Mozambique’s highest body in matters of constitutional and electoral law.
The documentation required of any Presidential candidate includes 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, a declaration accepting nomination, and the details of his or her election agent.
But the most difficult requirement is 10,000 supporting signatures, each of which must be recognised by a notary, and be on a form that also contains a photograph of the candidate.
The CAD says it delivered 13,160 signatures in support of Mabota to the Constitutional Council, and has more in reserve, if necessary.
At a subsequent press conference, Daniel declared “today, Alice Mabota, we are delivering you to your people, with the belief that God will bless you so that in his name you restore our society, eliminating all the continual and painful blights from which we suffer”.
Mabota herself declared “I am not scared. I know I will face stones and boulders, but I cannot give up”.
She said she had spent more than 30 years of her life, fighting for justice, but felt that “the country is now going backwards in terms of the rule of law”.
Mabota called for the “separation of the state from political parties”, and for “far-reaching reforms in education and health care”. She also wanted a future government to take seriously the clause in the Mozambican constitution which states that agriculture is the basis of development, and thus reduce the import of food that can be produced locally.
The other presidential candidates who have already presented their nominations are the incumbent Filipe Nyusi, of the ruling Frelimo Party, who is running for a second term; Ossufo Momade, leader of the main opposition party, the former rebel movement Renamo; Daviz Simango, mayor of Beira and leader of the Mozambique Democratic Movement; and Helder Mendonca (better known by his stage name of Dino XS), standing for PODEMOS (Party of Optimists for the Development of Mozambique).