Mozambique proposes constitutional changes to secure peace agreement

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FILE PHOTO: President Filipe Nyusi of Mozambique speaks at a high-level meeting on addressing large movements of refugees and migrants at the United Nations General Assembly in Manhattan, New York, U.S. September 19, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: President Filipe Nyusi of Mozambique speaks at a high-level meeting on addressing large movements of refugees and migrants at the United Nations General Assembly in Manhattan, New York, U.S. September 19, 2016. REUTERS

Mozambique’s President Filipe Nyusi on Wednesday said he will propose a change in the constitution that will redistribute power to the country’s provinces, a move aimed at securing a long term peace agreement with the main opposition party.

According to the president, under the proposed deal, political parties that hold provincial parliamentary elections will be able to select regional governors, whom the president will have to approve, Reuters reports.

Opposition leader Afonso Dhlakama and the president had talks and agreed on the bill, hoping it will be an effective and definite way of attaining peace.

Fighters from Renamo and the ruling Frelimo party have clashed sporadically since Renamo challenged the results of a 2014 election. The fighting takes place mostly in the remote interior, making it difficult to gauge its scale and casualties, the report said.

Renamo members, who hold seats in parliament, have been calling for the right to elect its own governors in six districts where it scored a majority in the polls three years ago.

Frelimo, a former Marxist liberation movement, fought a 16-year civil war against Renamo and there have been concerns that Mozambique could slip back into conflict after Renamo withdrew from the 1992 peace deal that ended the fighting.

Mozambique is on the verge of developing huge offshore gas reserves which could transform one of the world’s poorest countries into a middle-income state. Competition to control this newfound wealth could stir unrest, analysts have said.

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