Mozambique: Renamo demands extra delay in voter registration - AIM report
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Daviz Simango, the mayor of the central city of Beira, and leader of the Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM) on Wednesday delivered his nomination papers for the 15 October presidential election to the Constitutional Council.
The Council is Mozambique’s highest body in matters of constitutional and electoral law, and its tasks include checking the validity of all documents submitted by presidential candidates.
Accompanied by the party’s election agent, Jose Manuel de Sousa, and other senor MDM figures, Simango delivered all the documents required from a candidate, including 20,000 supporting signatures.
Any candidate must provide between 10,000 and 20,000 supporting signatures from registered voters, all of which must be recognised by a notary. The MDM opted for the upper limit of 20,000 – thus protecting itself, should the Council, when it checks them against the electoral registers, discover that any are duplicates or are not from registered voters.
Judge Lucia Ribeiro, who is standing in as chairperson of the Council following last week’s resignation of Hermenegildo Gamito, accepted the nomination papers, and assured Simango that they will be carefully checked.
In statements to reporters, Simango said he was running for the Presidency “because I want to be an instrument of Mozambicans to block armed democracy and to install a democracy based on the rule of law, on strong and prestigious institutions, and where citizens will be the centre of attention, without discrimination and with a clear separation of powers”.
He added that he intended to end “the principle whereby the ruling party is the same thing as the state”.
“No party should mortgage or sell off the state”, he declared. He wanted to see the country’s parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, with greater credibility “so that it becomes a privileged centre for inspecting the work of the government, and where the president debates directly with the deputies in the Assembly plenary”.
Sousa told reporters that he regarded the voter registration, which ran from 15 April to 30 May as “a disaster”. He said the registration “is where fraud has been prepared”, and claimed that there was a deliberate under-registration of voters in opposition strongholds.
It is certainly true that there was a severe over-registration of voters in the southern province of Gaza, which is a bastion of the ruling Frelimo Party. 1.16 million voters were registered in Gaza – a completely impossible figure given that the total population of Gaza, according to the 2017 census, is 1.42 million, and in all provinces around half the population is under the voting age of 18.
Simango is the second candidate to deliver his nomination papers. The first was the Frelimo candidate, President Filipe Nyusi, who is running for a second term of office.
The nomination papers of Ossufo Momade, leader of the former rebel movement Renamo, should have been submitted on Tuesday – but Renamo, without explanation, has delayed delivering Momade’s papers to the Constitutional Council.
No new date has been announced, and when AIM contacted the Renamo election agent, Venancio Mondlane, he would only say “it won’t be this week”.Source: AIM
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