Maputo — Conferences of Mozambique's ruling Frelimo Party at the weekend elected new provincial committees, provincial first secretaries and delegates to the forthcoming Party Congress in all 11 provinces bar one (Maputo province).
In the central province of Sofala, Henriques Bongece was re-elected first secretary unopposed, with 407 votes from the 423 delegates.
According to the report in Monday's issue of the Beira daily paper "Diario de Mocambique", a new provincial committee of 97 members was elected, as well as 128 delegates to the Congress and 11 members of the new Central Committee (some members of the Frelimo Central Committee are elected at provincial level, and others at the Congress).
At the closing session of the conference, Political Committee member Alberto Chipande called for "unity, cohesion, understanding and collective work" from those elected. The conference, he said, was "a clear example of our internal democracy, in which we witnessed the election of the best among the best comrades".
As for those whose bids for election failed, Chipande said that they remain active and dynamic militants, "We cannot all hold positions and lead the various bodies of our party", he said.
One prominent casualty in the election was Lourenco Bulha, a former first secretary in Sofala, and the failed Frelimo candidate for mayor of Beira in the 2008 municipal elections. He failed to be elected either to the Central Committee or to the Provincial Committee.
In the northern province of Nampula, Zacarias Ivala was also elected unopposed as first secretary with 121 votes from the 123 delegates. Mateus Lampiao, head of the Frelimo group in the Nampula City Municipal Assembly, had intended to run against Ivala. This became impossible when the conference refused even to elect Lampiao to the provincial committee. Only members of the new provincial committee are eligible to stand for the post of First Secretary.
In Maputo City, Hermenegildo Infante was also re-elected first secretary unopposed. Results from the other provinces were not yet available at the time of writing.