Chissano shy about 'role model' status

Sirte- Libya (PANA) -- Stepping down from the Presidency in Africa is becoming a growing phenomenon and those acceding to this trend are labelled "role models" who occupy a status of reverence in the annals of African political history.
But former Mozambican President Joachim Chissano, who vacated the seat last year, sees it from a different perspective, saying leaders have to ponder the implications of leaving or holding on to power.
He stepped down from the helm of the Mozambican State even though the country's constitution allows that he could run for another term.
"What I did is nothing I could recommend to other heads of state who have the right to go and finish their mandate according to their constitutions," soft-spoken Chissano told PANA Tuesday in an interview on the sidelines of the 5th Ordinary Summit of the African Union (AU) convening here 4-5 July.
  "Also, I don't want to be cited as a role model because it would be dangerous to think that all countries are equal.
there are problems in different countries and democracies are born in different ways.
  "One has to ponder what is good for the country, what is good to maintain peace and consolidate unity, and act accordingly, and not just follow what Chissano has done," he the man who just two years ago was chairman of the AU," he explained.
  Chissano says he does not feel much of a difference being out of the glamour heads of state basked in at their summits, noting: "I continue to interact with my old head of state colleagues and the new ones, as well as my former foreign minister colleagues.
" The former Mozambican president is attending the AU Sirte summit in his capacity as Special Envoy of the UN Secretary General for the September World Summit in New York, he told PANA.
"I have been travelling a lot since I left office.
My assignment is to visit the countries and heads of state of Africa and to help with the transition period in Guinea-Bissau, and so I have been away all the time," he noted.
  "I think we (African leaders) should not be scared of not being heads of state or government.
life goes on and there's a lot to do," Chissano advised incumbent leaders.
Quitting office has not left Chissano much time for a private life, he said, adding, "When I stepped down, I was immediately invited by the international community to help in different ways, so I haven't had time yet to plan for a daily work as a president out of office, which makes me to have less time than I had when I was in office.
" On his future plans, Chissano said he would wish to work with his Foundation, which concentrates on a project in rural Mozambique, and start the drafts of "what could be written as my memories" in the future.
Commenting briefly on the outcome of one of his most recent international assignments in Guinea-Bissau, Chissano called on the international community to provide material and financial help as the West African nation prepares for the rebuilding process, warning that "if there's a delay, there could be place for new turmoil.

05 july 2005 13:26:00

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