30 political parties, three coalitions, and two independent citizens’ groups, have registered with Mozambique’s National Elections Commission (CNE), expressing their interest in participating in the presidential, parliamentary and provincial elections scheduled for 15 October. The CNE has approved 24 of them, and is still analysing the paper work of the remaining parties who registered on Monday, the final day for registration.
All three parliamentary parties – the ruling Frelimo Party, the former rebel movement Renamo, and the Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM) – have registered and have been accepted. They intended to contest all the elections in all constituencies. The other parties approved by the CNE which intend to run presidential candidates, as well as standing for parliament and the provincial assemblies are:
1. Independent Party of Mozambique (PIMO). This is a thinly disguised Islamic party, whose leader, Yaqub Sibindy won 0.91 per cent of the vote in the 2004 presidential election, and was disqualified in 2009, since he was unable to obtain 10,000 valid supporting signatures from registered voters. PIMO won 0.59 per cent of the parliamentary vote in 2004 and did not stand for parliament in 2009.
2. Coalition for Peace, Democracy and Development/Democratic Alliance (PDD/AD). A coalition of 12 parties, which intends to run Raul Domingos, leader of the Party for Peace, Democracy and Development (PDD) as its presidential candidate. Domingos was once the number two in Renamo, but was expelled from the party by Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama in 2000. In 2004, Domingos won 2.73 per cent of the presidential vote, but, like Sibindy, was disqualified in 2009 for lack of supporting signatures.
3. Independent Alliance of Mozambique (ALIMO). A breakaway from PIMO. Its candidate will presumably be its leader, Khalid Sidat, who was another of those disqualified in 2009 for lack of supporting signatures. In the 2009 parliamentary election, ALIMO won 0.38 per cent.
The parties who do not intend to contest the presidency are:
4. Mozambican People’s Progress Party (PPPM). Once allied with Renamo in the Renamo-Electoral Union. Did not stand in 2009.
5. National Movement for the Recovery of Mozambican Unity (MONAREMU). Previously unheard-of.
6. Ecologist Party-Land Movement (PEC-MT). Won 0.4 per cent of the parliamentary vote in 2004 and 0.14 per cent in 2009.
7. Party of Union for Reconciliation (PUR). Previously unheard-of.
8. Social Liberal Party (SOL). Won 0.46 per cent of the parliamentary vote in 2004 and did not stand in 2009.
9. Humanitarian Party of Mozambique (PAHUMO). Recently formed by a former Renamo parliamentary deputy, Cornelio Quivela. Contested the 2013 local elections in several northern municipalities, and won one seat on the Nampula municipal assembly.
10. Patriotic Movement for Democracy (MPD). Won 0.06 per cent of the vote in 2009.
11. Popular Democratic Party (PPD). Won the grand total of 701 votes in 2009 – 0.02 per cent – coming bottom of the poll.
12. Union for Change (UM). Won 0.04 per cent of the vote in 2009.
13. Social Renewal Party (PARESO). Previously unheard-of.
14. Mozambican Green Party (PVM). Won 0.33 per cent of the vote in 2004 and 0.5 per cent in 2009.
15. Labour Party (PT). Despite its name, the PT has nothing to do with the Mozambican labour movement. Won 0.47 per cent of the vote in 2004, but only 0.03 per cent in 2009.
16. Lhuvuka Arte Cultural Association. An independent group of citizens that will only contest the provincial elections.
17. Electoral Union (UE) coalition. Won 0.17 per cent of the vote in 2009.
18. National Reconciliation Party (PARENA). Won 0.14 per cent of the vote in 2009.
19. Solidarity and Freedom Party (PAZs). The name has no connection with the acronym – and maybe this party hoped that the word “paz” (Portuguese for “peace”) would bring it votes. But in 2009 it won just 0.43 per cent of the vote.
20. Independent Social Democratic Party (PASDI). Did not take part in previous parliamentary elections.
21. Union of Democrats of Mozambique (UDM). Won 0.06 per cent of the vote in 2009.
22. National Party of Mozambique (PANAMO). This was once a member of the Democratic Union coalition which won nine seats in the 1994 election only to lose them all in 1999. Its leader Marcos Juma was given a two year suspended prison sentence in 2002 for attempting to make counterfeit US dollar bills.
23. Democratic Union (UD) coalition . Never recovered from losing all its seats in 1999. Did not stand in 2009.
24. National Party of Workers and Peasants (PANAOC). Won 0.02 per cent (839 votes) in 2009.
The other parties not yet approved by the CNE are:
25. Party of Freedom and Development (PLD). Won 0.69 per cent in 2009.
26. African Union for the Salvation of the Mozambican People (UASP). Did not stand in 2009.
27. Youth Movement for the Restoration of Democracy (MJRD). Did not stand in 2009.
28. Juntos pela Cidade (JPC – Together for the city). This independent citizens’ group was once the official opposition in the Maputo Municipal Assembly, and the investigative journalist Carlos Cardoso, murdered in 2000, was its driving force. It is only standing for the Maputo provincial assembly.
29. United Democratic Front (UDF). Once a component of the Renamo-Electoral Union. It did not stand in 2009.
30. Social Broadening Party (PASOMO). Won 0.52 per cent in 2004 and did not stand in 2009.
31. United Mozambican Party for Democratic Freedom (PUMILD). Did not stand in 2009.
32. Social Democratic Reconciliation Party. So unheard-of that the CNE does not even provide an acronym for it.
That these parties have registered with the CNE is no guarantee that they will stand. They must now submit provincial lists of candidates to the CNE. Each candidate must provide an authenticated copy of his identity card, or birth certificate, an authenticated copy of his voter card, to prove that he is a registered voter, a criminal record certificate, and declarations that the candidate accepts nomination, is eligible to stand and is not standing on any other list.
For the parliamentary election, each provincial list must contain the names of enough candidates to fill all the seats allocated to that province, plus at least three supplementary candidates. This means that any party intending to stand in all constituencies must present lists containing at least 289 names. This was the downfall of several minor parties in 2009 – they were unable to provide lists containing enough valid candidates.
It may seem puzzling that so many tiny parties with no realistic chance whatever of winning seats are prepared to try again. The reason is financial – the Mozambican state provides money for election campaigns, and any party whose candidates are accepted by the CNE is entitled to a share of that money.