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File photo: Voa Portugues
Venancio Mondlane’s attempt to stand for Renamo for mayor of Maputo ended with the Constitutional Council (CC) ruling that he could not appeal twice. This means the CC never considered on the actual issue – that the National Elections Commission was wrong to bar him from standing because he resigned from the municipal assembly when he was elected to national parliament in 2014.
The first appeal challenged the constitutionality of the law but not the decision, and the CC ruled that Renamo as a political party did not have standing to raise a constitutional issue. So Mondlane appealed again on the issue itself, but the CC said he could only appeal once.
Lawyers point out that the constitution is clear and it was obvious that Renamo could not appeal against the constitutionality of a law, and do not understand why Renamo did not appeal against the decision as well. Nevertheless, some jurists argue that the CC could and should have considered the substance of the argument even if Renamo did not properly raise it. Was the CC shying away from deciding on the matter of substance so as not to be criticised by either Frelimo and Renamo in a context of the search for peace and national reconciliation?
Renamo has accepted the CC rulings and is now presenting Herminio Morais as head of list and candidate for mayor. He was number two and automatically moves into the top spot.
By Joseph HanlonSource: Mozambique Political Process Bulletin