Over a third of members of parliament belonging to Mozambique’s ruling Frelimo party on Wednesday submitted a proposal to amend the constitutional clause related to districts elections slated for 2024, according to Frelimo’s parliamentary group spokesperson, Feliz Silva.
Silva said that the idea is to change the wording to the clause postponing the holding of district elections to a future non-specified date when the conditions are deemed appropriate.
The session to amend the clause will take place after 12 June, when, by law, a constitutional amendment is possible, after Frelimo used its majority in March to push through a bill postponing the announcement of the general elections from the 15 April deadline to 15 July.
The holding of district elections was agreed between President Filipe Nyusi and the late Renamo leader, Afonso Dhlakama, which resulted in a constitutional amendment to accommodate the will of the two leaders in 2019.
However, Frelimo had made it clear that district elections should be postponed. President Nyusi set up a commission to discuss their viability, which last week presented its preliminary findings recommending the postponement of such elections.
At first glance, cooler heads in Mozambique’s ruling Frelimo party have prevailed and averted a political crisis. Observers feared that Nyusi would use Frelimo’s two-third majority in parliament to overhaul the Constitution in order to secure a third term.
Thus, the thinking was that the postponement of the deadline for the announcement of general elections was an excuse for Frelimo to gain time until it was legally possible to change the Constitution to give Nyusi a third term.
But Mozambique Insights understands that the old guard (as reported first here) had told Frelimo’s own Political Commission, the ruling body between Central Committee’s sessions, to instruct the parliamentary group to just focus on changing the clause on district elections and beefing-up the powers of the Administrative Court.
Therefore, it seems as if the old guard’s instructions have been carried out with no hitches.
It is not clear what moves will Nyusi and his allies make. But for the time being, it seems as if a crisis that would throw the country and Frelimo itself into chaos might have been stopped.
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