Mozambique could see a new political landscape after elections on October 15. Next to the old rivals, FRELIMO and RENAMO, a new party, the MDM has gathered political strength. Jose Domingos Manuel, seems certain of a victory. His cap boasts the party logo and his t-shirt an image of the MDM’s top candidate Daviz Simango. The Democratic Movement of Mozambique (MDM) is only five years old, but it is aiming high. “Simango is the right man to lead this country,” says MDM board member Domingos Manuel. The MDM won a surprise victory in the 2013 local elections. They beat the powerful ruling FRELIMO in four major towns. Domingos Manuel thinks that the party has proven its ability to rule at least at a local level.
In the upcoming elections on Wednesday, October 15, MDM is seeking representation in Mozambique’s parliament and its party leader is running for president. The people have had enough of the traditional parties, thinks Domingos Manuel. MDM’s campaign slogan is: “Forget the old parties. They just want money and power”.
The old parties are FRELIMO, which has ruled the country since independence, and RENAMO, the former civil war rebels. In 2013, RENAMO boycotted local elections, arguing that the ruling FRELIMO party had breached the peace deal that ended Mozambique’s 16-year-long civil war in 1992. RENAMO and its 61-year-old leader Alfonso Dhlakama, retreated back to the bush and into hiding. They threatened to take up arms again and rekindle the brutal war between the two political factions. Dhlakama only recently reemerged from hiding. He signed a new peace agreement with the government, paving the way for elections.