Former presidents Chissano & Kikwete to lead mission seeking answers on SA xenophobic-linked ...
The candidacy of Venancio Mondlane as head of the Renamo list and the entire list of Samora Machel Jr’s AJUDEM, both in Maputo, are being re-considered this afternoon (Sunday 19 August) by the CNE, following challenges. But appeals to the Constitutional Council are likely, meaning no clarity until September on the key Maputo election.
The CNE meeting began Saturday and adjourned without agreement, and was scheduled to resume at 15.00 today, Sunday 19 August.
MDM alleges that Mondlane’s candidacy is invalid because he stood down from the municipal assembly in 2015 when he was elected to parliament. And four candidates for Samora Machel Jr’s AJUDEM list claim they were included in the list against the will, and that their signatures were forged. A list must have as many candidates as there are seats in the assembly plus at least three alternates – for Maputo 67 (64 + 3). It is now too late to submit new candidates. AJUDEM’s list has 68, so if the four are removed, the list falls and AJUDEM (and Samora Jr) cannot stand.
Appeals could take 3 weeks
There are two levels of appeals. The loser of the Mondlane protest first appeals again to the CNE. Similarly, if AJUDEM is rejected, the first appeal is to the CNE. In both cases, the second CNE decision can be appealed to the Constitutional Council (CC). Appellants have 3 calendar days (including weekends) to appeal, the CNE has 3 days to rule, then there are 3 days to appeal to the CC. The appeal to the CC is filed with the CNE, which then has 5 days to respond. After that, the CC then has 5 days to rule. This means it could take 3 weeks, or into the second week of September, to resolve these issues. The electoral campaign begins 15 days before voting, on 25 September.
MDM challenge to Venâncio Mondlane
The electoral law says that a candidate cannot have resigned from the municipal assembly in the previous mandate. Both Venâncio Mondlane, head of the Renamo list in Maputo, and Silverio Ronguane, head of the MDM list in Matola, stood down from municipal assemblies after they were elected members of the national parliament for MDM in 2014.
Last week the CNE said they could not take official cognisance of the case, and they could only act if there was a protest. So when the lists were published Friday, MDM officially protested against Mondlane (even though a ruling in its favour would also affect Ronguane, its own candidate). In the CNE meeting yesterday, Renamo members defended Mondlane, and the decision was deferred to the meeting this afternoon. A decision will be known Monday, 20 Aug. The decision rests on an arcane issue, as to whether the new electoral law can be applied to a 2015 resignation.
Samora Machel Jr list at risk
After the AJUDEM list was published Friday, four members alleged that they had not agreed to be included and had not signed the key documents. In effect they are alleging forgery of their signatures and falsification of documents, which is an electoral crime punishable by 2 to 8 years in prison. But such a crime must be prosecuted by the Attorney General, not the CNE.
The electoral law does not mention this issue of falsified documents, which leaves the CNE in a conundrum. It has the task of assessing the validity of the five documents each candidate must submit, but how does it respond to a claim of falsification – which is a criminal offence outside the normal ambit of the CNE.
So the CNE could accept the letters as declining to stand, and reject the AJUDEM list. Of they could reject the letters, either as claiming a criminal offense that the CNE cannot rule on, or on the grounds that the letters do not meet the rules for candidates desisting. In which case, the list would stand and go forward.
By Joseph HanlonSource: Mozambique Political Process Bulletin
Funded by Russia: Zimbabwe set to build 1.5 billion fuel pipeline, in partnership ...