Skip to content

Time for change at MDM

The party risks electoral oblivion without a change of leader

Today’s front pages in Maputo. Photo © Faizal Chauque / Zitamar News

Good afternoon. If the secretary-general of the Democratic Movement of Mozambique (MDM), the second-largest opposition party, is to be believed, none of its members are interested in running for the party leadership or to be nominated as its candidate in Mozambique’s presidential election in October (see below).

This is unlikely to be the whole truth. In general, Mozambican political parties struggle with internal democracy. Any challengers to the rule of the party leader face punishment. In ruling party Frelimo, this tendency has been tempered by the constitutional two-term limit on being president of Mozambique, which has effectively forced a change of leader when the president’s second term expired, even though the two jobs are not legally linked. In opposition parties MDM and Renamo, which are not allowed to win presidential elections, no such limit exists, and their previous leaders, Daviz Simango and Afonso Dhlakama, held their jobs for life. This attitude is also true of current MDM leader Lutero Simango. But if Simango is not properly challenged, the consequences could be fatal for the party, and perhaps damaging for Mozambican politics too.

Leader article continues below for Pro subscribers.

This post is for subscribers on the Zitamar Pro tier


Already have an account? Log in