Good afternoon. Last weekend, Frelimo confirmed its lead candidates for the municipal elections on 11 October. Elections will take place in 65 municipalities across the country, with the lead candidates for the biggest party becoming mayors.
For the municipalities of Matola, Beira and Nampula, Frelimo has proposed three current provincial governors or secretaries of state. These all won internal elections with 100% of the vote. And in the capital, Maputo, Razaque Manhique, an arguably unpopular figure, has been chosen to try to wipe out the unconvincing record of Eneas Comiche’s government.
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Frelimo entered the internal electoral process knowing that they face a fight, especially in the country's main cities, as Renamo's lead candidates have been known for more than a week, though the Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM) has yet to announce its candidates.
Given the mismanagement by current mayors and the strong opposition candidates, holding Maputo and Matola will not be an easy task. In the run-up to the elections, the incumbent mayors, Eneas Comiche and Calisto Cossa, were promptly rejected. For Maputo, Razaque Manhique was elected. Manhique is Frelimo's first secretary for the city of Maputo, and has also served as vice-president of Maputo's municipal assembly. He will be running against Venâncio Mondlane, a popular — and populist — politician who came close to winning Maputo for the MDM in 2013, before being barred from standing for election in 2018 on a technicality.