Mozambique: Pledges to Continue Demonstrations

Maputo — Mozambique’s main opposition party, Renamo, has pledged to continue holding street demonstrations against the results of the 11 October municipal elections, which it regards as fraudulent.

The Renamo National Political Commission met in Maputo on Tuesday and decided to continue the demonstrations throughout the country. The meeting also decided to continue boycotting sessions of the country’s parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, and of the various municipal assemblies where it holds seats.

The statement from the meeting, cited by the independent daily “O Pais’, declared that the demonstrations held to protest against the election results had been “positive’, and so should continue, as should the boycott of parliament, which it described as “a form of political struggle’.

The Political Commission condemned “the intimidation and death threats against fellow citizens who are exercising their democratic right of expression and defence of the truth’

Incitement to violence, it claimed, “is in the DNA of the regime, and is made operational by the police’.

As for the accusations of incitement to violence made against such Renamo figures as the Mayor of Nampula, Paulo Vahanle, Renamo declined to comment, since this was not discussed at the Political Commission meeting.

Parliamentary debates are now a tame affair, utterly dominated by the ruling Frelimo Party. On Wednesday, the Assembly discussed the General State Account for 2022, but in the absence of the Renamo parliamentary group, there was little attempt to hold the government to account for its handling of the public finances last year.

The boycott could have serious consequences for the Renamo deputies, who will not be paid their parliamentary wages for the days they are absent. And if the boycott goes on for more than 15 days, the Renamo deputies could lose their parliamentary seats.

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