RENAMO boycotts opening of Parliament
Mozambique’s main opposition party, the Mozambican National Resistance (RENAMO) has decided to boycott the opening of parliament which took place today.
The boycott follows the party’s continuing dispute of the 15th October general election which they consider to have been fraudulent. In that election RENAMO increased their number of seats to 89 from 51 (+38) in the 250 seat Assembly of the Republic.
The ruling Mozambique Liberation Front (FRELIMO) dropped 47 seats to 144 seats which gave them a majority in parliament and means that a quorum will allow the parliament to continue unhindered. The other party to win seats, the relatively new Democratic Movement of Mozambique (MDM) who won an additional nine seats to take their tally to 17 seats, are not boycotting parliament.
The RENAMO group now has 30 days in which to take their seats or lose them. The group has threatened to form a parallel government in central and northern Mozambique where they are strongest.
RENAMO’s leader, Afonso Dhlakama, came second in the Presidential election with 36.61% of the vote. Subsequently the government passed a law to give him special status as leader of the opposition with an official residence, staff and office and they set aside around $2 million but Dhlakama has rejected the law.