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Margarida Talapa. Photo: Folha de Maputo
Margarida Talapa, head of the parliamentary group of Mozambique’s ruling Frelimo Party, and of the party’s election brigade in the northern province of Nampula, told a press conference on Monday she is convinced that Frelimo will win the October presidential and parliamentary elections – despite losing five of Nampula’s seven municipalities to the main opposition party, Renamo, in last year’s municipal elections.
Talapa told the reporters that Frelimo maintains “great visibility and acceptance” in Nampula. But that is not the story that the municipal election results tell. Frelimo won in the town of Ribaue, and the Frelimo victory in Monapo was widely regarded as fraudulent. Elsewhere, Renamo swept the board, taking the two major cities, Nampula and Nacala, as well as Mozambique Island, Angoche and Malema.
“Frelimo is visible throughout the country, and also in Nampula province. You can’t assess the results of future elections based on the municipal elections held last year”, Talapa claimed.
“Those elections were in municipalities, and not in all districts”, Talapa added. “We are working and we are sure that in the presidential, parliamentary and provincial elections we are indeed going to win. You can see Frelimo in any part of this province”.
Frelimo was stable and rooted in all the districts of Nampula, she claimed. “There’s a calm atmosphere and one of acceptance of our party’s message. There’s great enthusiasm among our militants in all districts, and this leads us to say we have the conditions to work to guarantee the success of our party and of our presidential candidate, Filipe Nyusi”.
Asked to comment on Renamo’s call to delay voter registration by a further month, Talapa said the political parties have appropriate places in which to discuss such matters – notably inside the National Elections Commission (CNE).
“The parties represented in parliament should not be the first to question the electoral calendar, because it is the electoral bodies that propose and decide”, she declared. “We in Frelimo have our members on the CNE, so does Renamo and so does the MDM (Mozambique Democratic Movement”.
“As a party, we are prepared”, added Talapa. “We don’t see any inconvenience in the voter registration beginning on 15 April”.
The initial period for registration, set by the government on the proposal of the CNE, was 1 April to 15 May. But cyclone Ida and the ensuing floods made it virtually impossible to start registration in the central provinces of Sofala, Manica, Tete and Zambezia on 1 April. The government, again after consultation with the CNE, postponed the start of registration by a fortnight. The voter registration period will now run from 15 April to 30 May.
On Monday, at a Maputo press conference, Renamo spokesperson Jose Manteigas, said the postponement was much too short, and would mean that many of these affected by the cyclone would be unable to register and thus unable to vote. He called for the registration to be postponed by 45 days (i.e. by an additional month).
Talapa said the argument that registration should only begin in 45 days suggested to her that “probably Renamo is not prepared for these elections. But we are prepared”.
During Talapa’s four day visit to Nampula, the Frelimo provincial and district election offices were set up. The provincial office is headed by the interim Frelimo first secretary, Agostinho Trinta, assisted by the provincial governor, Vitor Borges.Source: AIM
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