The Mozambican President, Filipe Nyusi, appealed this Monday, 25 September, to the contestants in the local elections on 11 October not to have “incendiary and intimidating speeches” or violence against their opponents during the electoral campaign that started today, Tuesday.
In a message to the nation on the electoral campaign, the head of state said that “Mozambique is a benchmark in the region, the continent and the world for the high level of citizenship, discipline and patriotic sense demonstrated in the process of consolidating multiparty democracy. May this example prevail during the upcoming electoral campaign,” emphasised Filipe Nyusi.
More than 11,500 candidates from 11 political parties, three coalitions of parties and eight citizens’ groups kicked off the election campaign for the 11 October local elections at midnight on Tuesday, amid calls for a peaceful process.
“We urge the competing political forces and their members to participate freely, consciously, orderly and tolerantly in the electoral campaign, always bearing in mind that the elections are a time to celebrate our Mozambicanness. We also urge the contestants, in their interaction with potential voters, including the use of their airtime, to focus on presenting their manifestos, refraining from incendiary and intimidating speeches and acts of violence against their opponents,” appealed the President of the Republic in the same message.
The electoral campaign for these elections runs until 8 October and, for the head of state, a role of “civic educator” is expected of all those involved: “each of us must assume the role of a true civic educator, helping to prevent acts that distort the sense of healthy and exemplary democratic coexistence. The leaders of the competing political forces, associations and citizens’ groups have an added responsibility to guide their members towards strict observance of the law and the Electoral Code of Conduct,” added the President.
According to Nyusi, the Police of the Republic of Mozambique (PRM) “is urged to act with the utmost impartiality and impartiality, ensuring that the electoral campaign and the entire process leading up to the vote takes place normally, within the standards of law and order,” and the electoral bodies are expected to “fulfil their mission with transparency, equidistance and fairness, treating all contestants equally.”
These sixth local elections are the first multiparty elections in Mozambique following the complete demilitarisation of Renamo, the largest opposition party, which was completed last June with the decommissioning of the last guerrilla base.
“The local elections are taking place in a context of deepening democracy and decentralisation, the true pillars of the democratic rule of law, which we have been building with the collaboration of all the living forces of society, in particular the political parties and civic associations,” he acknowledged.
Mozambique is starting a new electoral cycle which, in addition to local elections next month, foresees general elections on 9 October 2024, namely with the vote for the new President of the Republic, a position for which the current head of state, Filipe Nyusi, can no longer constitutionally stand.
More than 8.7 million Mozambican voters are registered to vote in the sixth local elections, below the initial projection of 9.8 million voters, according to previous CNE data.
Mozambican voters will choose 65 new mayors on 11 October, including in 12 new municipalities, in addition to the 53 that already exist.