The ruling Frelimo party on Wednesday used its two-third parliamentarian majority to push through a bill changing the date for the announcement of the 2024 general elections despite Renamo protestations.
The change to the Electoral Law reduces the deadline for announcing the date of the general elections from 18 to 15 months.
The opposition Renamo party, which on Tuesday had walked out of parliamentary commission duties, demonstrated inside the building against a perceived slight by Frelimo. At the heart of Renamo’s protest is the fact that it submitted a draft bill on district elections, which was quashed by Frelimo.
Renamo views this manoeuvre as a slide towards dictatorship.
The changing of the deadline is important because it will afford Frelimo an opportunity to amend the constitution without using opposition votes, which it cannot do before 12 June.
Observers say that Frelimo’s intention is to amend the constitution either to throw in a third term for President Filipe Nyusi or to adopt an Angolan-style electoral system – closed list -, whereby voters elect the president and members of parliament simultaneously with a single ballot paper.
Using such an electoral system, would allow for the pushing of Nyusi’s own preferred person for presidential candidate, as it would be impossible for Frelimo voters to split the vote in case they are not happy with the his’s choice.
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