Joe Hanlon National Elections 15-16

24 April 2014
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Renamo military presence accepted to permit 9 registration posts to open and Dhlakama to register

Nine registration posts are opening in Gorongosa district under the protection of the Renamo military, with no Mozambican police presence, the National Elections Commission confirmed at a press conference this morning (Thursday 24). This follows an agreement last night between Renamo and the government, which will also permit the registration of Renamo president Afonso Dhlakama and of Renamo soldiers.

This also confirms the very usual position of Renamo, which is the main opposition party in parliament and is participating in the electoral process, while having an armed force which controls part of a district and will only allow registration if there are no government police present.

The nine registration posts in Gorongosa district, Sofala, had never opened because of on-going fighting between Renamo and the government. CNE spokesman Paulo Cuinica this morning said members of the National Elections Commission (in pairs of Renamo and Frelimo) are today going to Sofala to go with the registration teams, and that they would not be accompanied by members of the Mozambican police (PRM).

The nine registration brigades will be in Casa Banana, Vunduzi, Nhataca, Chionde, Tsikiri, Mussikazi, Piro and Mukodza. Cuinica also confirmed that the brigades would not stay overnight in these places, but would return to more secure areas each night.

Cuinica also confirmed that Renamo had made a request to delay the end of registration, now scheduled for Tuesday 29 April. Renamo alleges that there are regions where registration started late because of rains and others where there were constant breakdowns of equipment including generators and computers. Cuinca said that CNE and STAE had reinforced the capacity of brigades in problem locations and thus there was no need to an extension, but the request is being considered by the CNE. Any delay of more than a few days would create serious problems, because registration data is needed for subsequent processes, including party selection of candidates.

With just 6 days to go, registration under 78%

CNE announced this morning that 6,424,570 voters have been registered this year in Mozambique, 70.3% of the 9,143,923 unregistered voting age adults. Registration ends on Tuesday 29 April.

To this must be added the 3,059,804 voters registered last year for 2013 local elections, who need not register again. Thus total registration is 9,484,374, which is 77,7% of the estimated 12,203,727 people who will be over 18 years old on voting day, 15 October.

For the 2009 election, registration was over 90%.

AllAfrica: Government Rejects „Parity“ With Renamo in Army

Maputo — The Mozambican government on Wednesday reiterated that it will not grant the demand by the former rebel movement Renamo for “parity” in the armed forces and the police as a condition for disarming and demobilising the remaining units of Renamo gunmen.

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Deutsche Welle: Dhlakama ainda não se recenseou devido a dispersão de postos, diz porta-voz

17.4.14 RENAMO critica „dispersão propositada“ de postos de recenseamento. A cerca de duas semanas do final do processo de registo, o líder e possível candidato presidencial do partido, Afonso Dhlakama, ainda não se inscreveu.

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Deutsche Welle: Desarmamento da RENAMO não acontece antes das eleições de outubro

16.4.14 A opinião é do analista Egídio Vaz, depois de o Governo de Moçambique acusar a RENAMO de recusar desarmamento. Autoridades nacionais consideram que “a desmilitarização do movimento é fundamental para a paz no país”.

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Deutsche Welle: Armando Guebuza insiste em fazer propaganda política ilegal

10.4.14 Presidente de Moçambique faz ouvidos de mercador às críticas da sociedade civil e da oposição. Guebuza continua a apresentar o candidato da FRELIMO às presidenciais à custa do dinheiro público na sua presidência aberta.

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AllAfrica: Renamo Will Hand Over Weapons, but Not Demilitarise

Maputo — Mozambique’s former rebel movement Renamo has agreed to hand over its weapons to the government, and for its men to join the defence and security forces, but it still refuses to demilitarise and become a normal political party, according to Transport Minister Gabriel Muthisse, the deputy head of the government delegation to the long running dialogue between the government and Renamo.

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Joe Hanlon 251: Talks deadlocked

15 April 2014
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Editor: Joseph Hanlon ( j.hanlon@open.ac.uk)
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Talks deadlocked again as Renamo demands „parity“ of police and army commanders

The 53rd round of talks Monday ended in deadlock, after Renamo said it would disarm only if all senior levels of the military and police had equal numbers of Frelimo and Renamo officers. The head of the Renamo negotiating team, Saimone Macuiane MP, said that the senior leadership of the army are all from the old People’s Liberation Army (Forcas Populares de Libertacao de Mocambique, FLPM) of more than 20 years ago, which was the army that fought Renamo, and that it was time to have equal number of Renamo officers. Renamo officers integrated into the army after the peace accord were turned in „advisors“, retired, or marginalised, leaving only the old FPLM in charge. And this must be reversed. „We don’t want our soldiers to just be cooks and ‚advisors‘ to Frelimo; we want them to be real military men in the army,“ Macuiane added.

Agriculture Minister Jose Pacheco, the head of the government negotiating team, dismissed the demand as an „aberration.“  (AIM 14 April) Noticias this morning (15 April) reports that Renamo demands that the head of the general staff (Chefe do Estado-Maior) of the army and commander of the police be named by Renamo, and only their deputies named by the government.

Although the two sides have agreed that there should be international monitors, there is no agreement on their role. The government says they should monitor the cease fire and the disarmament and demobilisation of Renamo fighters. Renamo wants them to monitor the entire reorganisation of the military and police.

The next round of talks is tomorrow, Wednesday. Meanwhile, Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama must register to vote in the next two weeks if he expects to stand for President.