Thursday, August 15, 2013

Mozambique: Deadlock Remains in Government-Renamo Dialogue

There has been another meeting between delegations of the Mozambican government and the country's main opposition party, the former rebel movement Renamo, ended without any consensus on Monday. This was described as the 15th ordinary round in the government. Renamo dialogue and hit the same obstacle as most of the previous rounds. Renamo wants to push the government into accepting its position on the electoral legislation, but the government wants to move onto other matters on the agenda. Renamo itself had put onto the agenda the composition of the defence and security forces, the depoliticisation of the state apparatus and unspecified economic questions. The government wants to discuss disarming Renamo's illegal security force, its Presidential Guard was an issue that became pressing when armed Renamo men attacked vehicles on the main north-south highway, near the small town of Muxungue, in late June. But Renamo refuses to move onto other issues without a political agreement on changes to the electoral law. The government has repeatedly stressed there is no way that it can accept the main Renamo demand which is for equality between Renamo and the ruling Frelimo Party on the National Elections Commission (CNE). The head of the government delegation, Agriculture Minister Jose Pacheco, once again told Renamo it should go ahead and submit its proposals to the country's parliament, the Assembly of the Republic. On Monday, the Assembly chairperson, Veronica Macamo, promised that, as soon as the Renamo proposals were received, they would be distributed to all deputies. The relevant working commissions of the Assembly would be asked for written opinions on the proposal, and the Assembly's ruling board would schedule the matter for debate. The current extraordinary sitting of the Assembly is due to end on Thursday - but if the Renamo proposal was indeed received, then the sitting could doubtless be extended. Pacheco pointed out that the Renamo parliamentary group is entitled to deposit proposals for legislation or amendments and needs no go-ahead from the government to do so. Renamo could deposit its document with the Assembly immediately. He thought Renamo stood to gain from this, since the government has accepted in full 12 of the 19 points contained in the Renamo document, suggested that four be reformulated, and had rejected just three

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