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In May, Samora Moisés Machel told DW that he would not leave Frelimo. [File photo: AIM]
The PODEMOS provincial secretary in Zambézia says that the party will run in the October general elections, despite not having enough signatures yet. Senior members say Samito’s name is the “most resonant,” Deutsche Welle reports.
Mozambique’s new PODEMOS (Optimistic People for the Development of Mozambique) party on Saturday (06-08) raised 2,000 signatures in support of the candidacy of Samora Machel Júnior in the October general elections.
Most of the signatures came from members of the Liberation Front of Mozambique (Frelimo), the party currently in government, followed by members of the Mozambican National Resistance (Renamo), the largest opposition party, and the Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM).
Senior PODEMOS representatives say that the name of Samora Machel Junior, son of the country’s first president and a prominent Frelimo member, is the “strongest” to represent the party in the upcoming elections.
The party held its first session at provincial level in Quelimane, Zambézia province, with the participation of members from the districts of Morrumbala, Namarroi, Mocuba and Milange.
The 2,000 signatures collected are sufficient to support the candidacy of Samora Machel Junior for the provincial governor race in Zambezia, but, at national level, 20,000 signatures are required. Valdemiro Mussoco, PODEMOS provincial secretary for Zambezia, says reaching the required figure will not be a problem and that Podemos will have a candidate in the presidential elections.
Party members say they are optimistic and prepared to fight on an equal footing with the other political formations which will, from September, enter the battle for votes.
On May 14, when the party was legally formed, Podemos president Albino Forquilha said that PODEMOS was made up of former Frelimo members who wanted more “economic inclusion” and who were “disenchanted” with possible changes within the party.
The new organisation is made up of members of the Mozambique Development Assistance Association (AJUDEM), which unsuccessfully attempted to run in the 2018 municipal elections for the municipality of Maputo with a list headed by Samora Machel Junior.
In an interview with DW Africa in May, Samora Machel Júnior however said that he would not leave Frelimo if he received an invitation to be the presidential candidate for PODEMOS. “How could I do such a thing? I’m Frelimo and I’m in Frelimo,” he said.
“New governance model”
During the Zambézia meeting, Valdemiro Mussoco said that the emergence of PODEMOS stemmed from the barring of Samora Machel Júnior’s candidacy for mayor of Maputo last year. “We have several goals, especially for this election period. We have already entered the pre-campaign phase, and from there we are going to the electoral campaign,” he said.
Most of the members of PODEMOS came from Frelimo, with some from Renamo and the MDM. “This party wants to bring a new model of governance. I you look at Frelimo, the president of the republic is also president of the party. We do not want that. We intend to separate powers. Podemos will change this scenario,” Mussoco said.
“The president of Mozambique cannot mix party matters and matters of governance. When this happens, the president turns his attention only to the members of his party. But the country is not only composed of members of a party, but of many different people,” he added.Source: Deutsche Welle
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