In Mozambique a series of elections are being held. These are the first since the?
In Mozambique a series of elections are being held. These are the first since the country gained independence from Portugal two years ago, and the first since the ruling Frelimo party introduced universal suffrage in 1975. Polling started in September, with elections for village assemblies, and over a period of three months, district, city and provincial pools will be held, culminating on 4 December with elections to the National People's Assembly. Election meetings have been held throughout the country, and at one such meeting in Maputo on Tuesday (22 November) Foreign Minister Joaquim Chissano took the chair.
SYNOPSIS: Under the Mozambiquan constitution everyone over 18 now has a vote, but the ballot box has been dispensed with. Candidates are elected at meetings of voters.
Foreign Minister Chissano has taken an active interest in the electioneering, attending village and city meetings.
Candidates for the various assemblies are proposed by the Frelimo committee, and in the cities assemblies will have a minimum of 25 and a maximum of 80 members. Every Mozambiquan over 18 is eligible for election.
Voting is done by a show of cards, because of the illiteracy rate in the country, which is said to be near 90 per cent. And for those elected, the electoral law states assemblies "must dedicate themselves to the planning of social and economic activities, particularly on agriculture, industry and commerce, education, health and housing, implementing the directives of the party and state."
The elections began on the 13th anniversary of the start of Frelimo's guerrilla was against the Portuguese in 1964.