Third Mozambique mayor resigns
Maputo - A third mayor has resigned in Mozambique in three weeks amidst accusations of mismanagement and conflicts with the ruling party Frelimo.
Pio Matos, mayor of the Zambezia provincial capital Quelimane, on Wednesday said personal reasons kept him from completing his term, though a newspaper leaked the names of mayors Frelimo wanted out.
"To carry on with this mandate with these issues would negatively affect my performance," Matos told AFP.
Matos, who governed for 12 years in Quelimane, ends his mandate almost two years before the next local elections due in 2013.
Two other mayors had suddenly left office already, the first such resignations since the establishment of municipalities in 1998. One said he had diabetes and the other that he had decided to resume his studies.
Commentators saw the resignations as a sign that the ruling party felt threatened by internal divisions and was trying to reassert its authority ahead of the next batch of elections.
After ruling the country for 36 years since independence, Frelimo cannot contain internal divisions any longer, according to Fernando Veloso, editor of independent weekly Canal de Mocambique.
"I think we're starting to see big ruptures in Frelimo. There will be different paths[...]end up killing the party."