Mozambique elections: Attempted ballot box stuffing in Nampula and Zambezia tarnish quiet start - ...
Photos: Sala da Paz
The musical entrepreneur Helder Mendonça, better known by his stage name of Dino XS, the presidential candidate of PODEMOS (Party of Optimists for the Development of Mozambique), on Friday delivered his nomination papers to the Constitutional Council, Mozambique’s highest body in matters of constitutional and electoral law.
The Council must check the validity of the paperwork submitted by all presidential candidates.
The newly-formed PODEMOS was set up by people involved in Ajudem (Youth Association for the development of Mozambique), the civil society body which last year tried, unsuccessfully, to run Samora Machel Junior (“Samito”), son of the country’s first President, Samora Machel, for the post of Mayor of Maputo.
It was initially believed that PODEMOS would run Machel Junior as its presidential candidate – but both Machel and Ajudem said they had nothing to do with PODEMOS.
At the Constitutional Council offices, Mendonça told reporters that his candidacy “is one of daring. All Mozambicans should dare to have a nation that serves all and is prosperous”.
“We are young people who don’t want to conform with what is habitual”, he said, adding that the benefits flowing from independence “should not be the privilege of a handful of Mozambicans”.
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.
On Friday, Mendonça presented 12,250 signatures to the Constitutional Council – which contradicts a claim made by PODEMOS in mid-June that it had already collected 15,000 signatures.
The new Party is clearly in considerable difficulty. Its initial election agent, Ernesto Stefane, has resigned, not only from his post, but also from the party. At short notice, Bernardo Mutimucuio stepped in to take over from him.
Mendonça is the fourth presidential candidate to submit his nomination papers. The three main parties – the ruling Frelimo Party, the former rebel movement Renamo, and the Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM) – submitted the nominations for their candidates in June. The deadline for submitting nomination papers to the Constitutional Council is 16 July.