The delegations appointed by Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi and Afonso Dhlakama, leader of the Renamo rebel movement, which is also the country’s main opposition party, have reached agreement that a package of legislation on decentralization should be drawn up by November for presentation to the Mozambican parliament, the Assembly of the Republic.

The agreement was announced here Wednesday at the end of a meeting of the government-Renamo Joint Commission, which discussed only the first point on its agenda, namely the demand by Renamo that it should be allowed to govern the six provinces which it claims to have won in the October 2014 general election.

A brief statement, read out to journalists by the head of the Renamo side, Jose Manteigas, said that the two delegations had reached consensus that the Renamo demand “should be discussed in the framework of national unity and the process of administrative decentralization, granting more decision-making powers to local state bodies, including financial resources, and the decentralized form of election/appointment of Provincial Governors”.

This formulation sidesteps the issue of whether provincial governors should be appointed or elected. Under the current Constitution, the President appoints all the provincial governors.

Dhlakama, however, wants the right to appoint governors in those provinces which he says were won by Renamo. The second opposition party, the Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM), which is not represented at the current talks, has insisted that the governors should be elected, and not appointed.

The two delegations agreed to set up a sub-commission charged with drawing up the package of legislation to be submitted to the Assembly. There are seven points in this package, the most important of which is the constitutional amendment necessary to change the way in which provincial governors (and other local state bodies) are appointed or elected.