For the first time in history, Mozambique will have a female presidential aspirant. She may be new to the political space, but she is not new to Mozambicans, Africans or the world over.
Mrs. Maria Alice Mabota has declared her intentions to run for the next presidential elections in Mozambique. Her intention to contest will not be taken lightly by her male opponents. The 70-year-old has made a name for herself as a renowned human rights activist respected across the globe.
She is also a former president of the Mozambique Human Rights League; which means she is not new to the league of presidents.
When it comes to women in power, especially as the number one citizen of the country, people around the world often have divided opinions. But the Maputo-born septuagenarian has filed her papers to run for the presidency and give Mozambicans an option they have never had before.
Citizens of the Portuguese-speaking country will for the first time in its history, have a woman on the ballot paper when they go to the polls in October this year to elect a new president.
Maria Alice Mabota will contest the elections as the candidate of a coalition referred to as the Democratic Alliance Coalition.
Surprisingly, she is not a member of any of the six political parties that formed the coalition but was unanimously chosen by leaders of all six parties to represent them and run for the presidency.
Her decision to contest brings the number of candidates to five, who will battle for the seat of the presidency on October 15th.
Interesting, the current president of the country, Filipe Nyusi will also be contesting for the second time in office.
President Filipe Jacinto Nyusi is the fourth President of Mozambique. He has been in office since 2015. He previously served as Minister of Defense from 2008 to 2014.
Fear is not something synonymous to someone who has been involved in human rights activism for many years like Alice Mabota, so it was not a surprise when a local media agency quoted her as saying:
“I am not scared. I know I will face stones and boulders, but I cannot give up”.
She stressed that despite spending over three decades fighting for justice, she was on a mission to rescue Mozambique, “… the country is now going backward in terms of the rule of law,” she is quoted to have said after filing.
According to Africa News, under Mozambican electoral laws, the nomination papers of all candidates are vetted and cleared by the Constitutional Council, Mozambique’s highest body in matters of constitutional and electoral law.Who is Maria Alice Mabota?
Maria Alice Mabota is a lawyer & a leading human rights activist. Back in the early ’90s, she was one of the first people to publicly challenge government abuses.Other candidates contesting the October 15, 2019 elections are:
- Incumbent Filipe Nyusi, of the ruling Frelimo Party, running for a second term;
- Ossufo Momade, leader of the main opposition party, the former rebel movement Renamo
- Daviz Simango, mayor of Beira and leader of the Mozambique Democratic Movement
- Helder Mendonca (better known by his stage name of Dino XS), standing for PODEMOS (Party of Optimists for the Development of Mozambique)
Header Image Credit: https://cartamz.com