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SADC Electoral advisory council expresses hope that Mozambique is ready for poll

14.10.2019
As the Southern African Nation of Mozambique moves towards its election date billed for October 15, 2019, the Southern African Development Community's (SADC) electoral advisory council has expressed hope and optimism that the country is ready for the democratic or voting process. The statement came as the council readied to dispatch a team of SADC observers to monitor the historic process in a country that is in search for lasting political peace. Mozambique has a long history of armed battles mostly along political lines. However, mammoth efforts have been made to contain the insurgency.

SADC Observer mission

Like elsewhere in Southern Africa and among member states of the Southern African Development Community SADC, the body has dispatched a reputable team of observers to Mozambique ahead of the general elections to hold on Tuesday, October 15 all over the national territory. While launching their mission on October 7 this year, head of the SADC Electoral Observation Mission (SEOM), Honourable Oppah C.Z. Muchinguri – Kashiri, who is Minister of Defence and War Veterans Affairs of the Republic of Zimbabwe, commended Mozambique for having sailed through over the years in spite of the turbulent ensure of the nation. She was quoted as saying; ‘’ even though the first democratic elections of 1994 came in the wake of a 16-year civil war that started in 1977, the Republic of Mozambique has done well in practising democratic principles as well as promoting democratic institutions in the country”. The tripartite election i.e. Presidential, Legislative and Provincial elections come the same month the country of President Filipe Nyusi commemorated 27 years since the inking on October 4, 1992, of the General Peace Agreement in Rome, Italy. This date remains in the history books of Mozambique as it marked the beginning of a new era of peace and stability and the institutionalization of democracy in the country. Apart from the SADC, other observer missions including the commonwealth observers, AFRIC observers are present on the field

Objective

While the SADC electoral advisory Council has categorically stated that the southern African country is set for the presidential election, it is also very important for them to dispatch experts to the ground to help monitor the electoral process while ensuring that it is free, fair, transparent and void of fraud and other election malpractices. All these are supposed to be done, taking into consideration the laws or principles governing election observation in SADC and Mozambique.

A turning point

The forthcoming elections in Mozambique is a turning point for a country that has gone through a lot in recent times. Many people were of the view that elections were to be postponed after the country was rocked by Cyclone Idai, a natural calamity that brought misery to thousands of Mozambicans. Many citizens lost their lives as a result of such. Opposition has also bemoaned that the aid provided to the affected areas were politically inclined, an allegation the ruling party denies. Also, the political squabbles which have been ongoing about 27 years, between the ruling Mozambique Liberation Front (FRELIMO) and the main opposing Mozambique National Resistance (RENAMO) have kept the peace and stability of the nation in a balance. However, these elections are coming at the time the two parties have engaged in a process of reconciliation. Two months ago, the governing Frelimo led by president Filipe Nyusi and RENAMO led by Ossufo Momade inked a peace accord giving way for peace to return. However, all has not been good since then as a breakaway portion of the defiant RENEMA rebels have called on Momade to resign and elections postponed. This does not actually sound well, for these defiant rebels may undermine the peaceful run of elections in the country. Notwithstanding, many hope for a new dawn as promised by President Nyusi and Ossufo during their peace deal. Analysts have already predicted a tumultuous scene on the day of elections, which according to them is a bad omen to the peaceful conduct of votes. Note should be taken that the election campaigns have recorded scenes of clashes, unhealthy for the nation indeed.

Contenders

Unlike in other countries where we usually find over 20 presidential contenders, only four candidates are viable for the post of president ahead of the October 15 polls. These include:

Candidate          Political party

Filipe nyusi – Mozambique Liberation Front-FRELIMO (Governing party)

Ossufo Momade – Mozambique National Resistance (main opp. Faction)

Daviz Simango –Democratic Movement of Mozambique (MDM)

Mario Albino-United Movement for Integral Salvation (AMUSI)

The candidacies of two people, including a woman were dropped as they could not  meet the required number of signatures to contest. Though 4 candidates, many people see the race mainly among Frelimo and Renamo parties. Though one can never be sure, a minority party can still attract more voters. The quest for political, economic and social change can be so intriguing and absurd at the same time.

Frelimo has been at the helm of affairs in Mozambique for over 40 years; President Nyusi succeeded then President Armando Guebuza who ruled the country from 2005 to 2015. Whoever conquers this year’s vote has the challenge of maintaining peace through containing the rebel faction mainly in the north of the nation, clear the country’s debt and meet the many demands of Mozambicans. Most importantly, he has to make the nation good enough to attract investors.

Article from AFRIC Editorial

Photo credit/ Google images

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