September 10, 2008

Frelimo local election candidate apparently murdered / Local elections on November 19th

A local election candidate of the ruling Frelimo Party has died in Malawi, apparently murdered. Raul Joaquim, selected by Frelimo as the party's candidate for mayor of the town of Mocuba, in the central province of Zambezia, traveled to Malawi to buy spare parts for his car. Nothing further was heard of him, until reports began to reach Mocuba that he had been killed. The Mozambican police are working with their Malawian counterparts on the case.
Speaking of Joaquim's death at a Maputo press conference, the Frelimo Central Committee Secretary for Mobilisation and Propaganda, Edson Macuacua, said "We were surprised and shaken. We have lost a great cadre who was decisive for the coming municipal elections".
He said a replacement candidate would be appointed within the terms stipulated by the electoral law. The law states that in the event of the death of a candidate the Electoral Administration Technical Secretariat (STAE), the electoral branch of the Mozambican civil service, must be informed within a day, with an indication of whether the party concerned intends to replace him or not. The party then has just three days to present the nomination papers for the new candidate. This is a challenge because any candidate for mayor must be nominated by at least one per cent of the municipal electorate. In the case of Mocuba, that is 400 people.
Macuacua insisted that Frelimo's goal for the local elections, scheduled for 19 November, is to maintain control of the 28 municipalities that are already in its hands, win in all ten towns upgraded to municipal status earlier this year, and "rescue the five municipalities that are under the ruinous management of the opposition". As for Frelimo's ability to finance its election campaign, Macuacua said "there is never enough money", but the party was sure that with the funds raised from members and supporters it will meet all the financial and logistical challenges posed by the municipal elections. (Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique, Maputo)

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