Venâncio Mondlane collecting signatures for presidential bid

Venâncio Mondlane collecting signatures for presidential bid
Venâncio Mondlane collecting signatures for presidential bid

Africa-Press – Mozambique. Venancio Mondlane, the candidate for mayor of Maputo of Mozambique’s main opposition party, Renamo, in last year’s municipal elections, has announced that he is collecting signatures to support a bid to become President of the Republic in the elections scheduled for 9 October.

The nomination papers for anybody hoping to run for President must include at least 10,000 signatures from registered voters. The signatures are checked by the Constitutional Council, the country’s highest body in matters of constitutional and electoral law.

Each signature must be verified by a notary, and accompanied by valid identification.

The legal requirement is at least 10,000 signatures, but, according to a report in the independent newssheet “Mediafax”, Mondlane declared on Sunday that he is aiming for 100,000 signatures.

This, he claimed, would represent “the will of the people”.

“They are the ones who decide”, he declared. “If the people say do it, then I will do it”.

Mondlane was speaking at Maputo International Airport, after returning from the central province of Zambezia, where Renamo had held a Congress in the municipality of Alto Molocue.

Mondlane had intended to stand for the Presidency of Renamo at the Congress – and the leader of the party would almost certainly become its presidential candidate. But the Renamo leadership, under the party’s current president, Ossufo Momade, barred Mondlane from the Congress, and he was not even allowed into the tent where the proceedings took place.

This was despite an order from the Alto Molocue District Court that Mondlane must be allowed to take part in the Congress. The Court also told the Alto Molocue district police command to accompany Mondlane into the Congress.

But both the Renamo leadership and the district police commander defied the court, and Mondlane was kept outside the Congress.

At the airport, Mondlane told the crowd of his supporters that he had sought reconciliation with the party leadership, but without success. Momade, he said, was intransigent, and did not respond to his requests.

Hence he was nor collecting signatures for an independent bid for the presidency. This could cause problems for Momade, who also needs 10,000 signatures. Nobody is allowed to support more than one presidential candidate, and younger Renamo sympathisers are more likely to back Mondlane than the ageing former guerrilla, Momade.

Under the current electoral calendar, all presidential candidates have up until 10 June to deposit their nomination papers with the Constitutional Council.

Also returning from Alto Molocue on Sunday was one of Momade’s key allies, the chairperson of the Renamo Youth League, Ivan Mazanga. His reception was very different from that accorded to Mondlane.

A group of youths showered abuse on Mazanga, including repeated chanting of the word “lambebota” (“bootlicker”).

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