November 26, 2002

Elections commission finally approved

The Assembly of the Republic, the Mozambican parliament, on Tuesday, November 26 approved by consensus the election of 18 members of the National Elections Commission (CNE), the body that will supervise the municipal elections of 2003 and the general elections of 2004.

The 19th member of the CNE, its chairperson, is to be an independent figure chosen by civil society. The government is entitled to appoint a representative to the CNE, who will be able to speak at meetings, but will have no voting rights.

The Assembly elected its CNE members in proportion to the parliamentary seats held by each party. Thus ten members were chosen by the majority Frelimo Party and eight by the Renamo- Electoral Union opposition coalition. The approval of the CNE members was held up for weeks because one of the Renamo appointees, Francisco Marcelino, better known by his nom-de-guerre of Jose de Castro, was ineligible for membership. Changes to the law on the CNE, approved by the Assembly unanimously in September, state that no leader of a political party may be a member of the CNE. Jose de Castro, however, was elected to the Renamo Political Commission a year ago. Before he could take up a seat on the CNE, Castro had to resign his position on the Political Commission. He has now done so, and this was accepted by the Assembly.

The 18 members elected by the Assembly are as follows: From Frelimo: Antonio Muacorica, Antonio Chipanga, Filipe Mandlate, Isidora Faztudo, Jose Grachane, Angelica Salomao, Paulus Gerdes, Percina Sitoe, Rogerio Utui and Rufino Nombora. From Renamo: Antonio Mthini, Guimaraes Lucas Junior, Izequiel Gusse, Maria Joaquina Inacio, Maria Macuacua, Pedro Murema, Tome Fernando and Jose de Castro. (AIM, Maputo)

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