Renamo leader Momade named as presidential candidate

Renamo leader Momade named as presidential candidate
Renamo leader Momade named as presidential candidate

Africa-Press – Mozambique. Ossufo Momade, the leader of Mozambique’s main opposition party, Renamo, is to be its candidate for president in the country’s October general elections, a spokesman for the party told Lusa on Monday.

“The congress decided to unanimously elect General Ossufo Momade as its candidate for the presidential elections on 9 October,” José Manteigas told Lusa. “So yes, General Ossufo Momade has been elected president of the party and Renamo’s candidate for the 2024 presidential elections.”

Momade has already stood in presidential elections as the Renamo candidate, in 2019, coming second with just under 22% of the vote, with Filipe Nyusi of the governing party, Frelimo, being re-elected as head of state, with 73%.

On Friday, Renamo’s jurisdictional council confirmed the election of Momade for another five-year term as president of the party, which he has led since 2019, saying that he had obtained 57% of the votes at the congress meeting since Wednesday in Alto Molócue, in Zambezia province.

Momade said after the announcement that he was counting on rival candidates for the party leadership to work with him and that “no one can be left out” in the electoral struggle that is to come.

“I thank you and promise to work with everyone – all the candidates,” he said in an address to the party congress on Friday after the official results were announced. “So that they can align with us, no one can be left out.

“We all have to work together,” he went on. “From today onwards, I’m going to work with everyone; I’m not going to discriminate against anyone. There are no adversaries here, no enemies, but internal democracy.”

The figures validated by the jurisdictional council confirmed Momade’s victory with 382 votes, against eight rival candidates.

A total of 710 party members were registered to vote at Renamo’s seventh congress and 674 ballots were cast, including 26 abstentions, four void votes and six blank ballots.

Renamo has been led by Momade, 63, since 17 January 2019, when he was elected after the death of the party’s historic leader, Afonso Dhlakama (1953-2018).

Elias Dhlakama, Afonso’s brother, received 147 votes in the leadership election and Ivone Soares, a member of parliament and former head of the parliamentary caucus, and the first woman to run for the leadership of Renamo, 78 votes, according to figures from the jurisdictional council.

The congress saw the leadership bid of Venâncio Mondlane, a member of parliament and the party’s candidate in the October 2023 municipal elections in Maputo, ruled out for allegedly not meeting the profile requirements defined by the party’s bodies.

Mondlane appealed to the courts of law to force the inclusion of his candidacy, but despite an injunction issued by a judge, the congress did not change the list of candidates put to the vote or allow him to enter the main meeting.

Mozambique is holding general elections on 9 October, which include legislative, provincial and presidential elections. Nyusi, incumbent, cannot stand again because he has reached the constitutional limit of two terms in office.

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