27 August 2012

Mozambique: Guebuza to Stand for Further Term As Frelimo President

Photo: The Presidency of the Republic of South Africa
File photo: Presidents Jacob Zuma of South Africa, right, and Armando Guebuza of Mozambique greeted by crowds.

Maputo — The Central Committee of Mozambique's ruling Frelimo Party decided by acclamation on Sunday to propose to the forthcoming Tenth Party Congress that Armando Guebuza should be re-elected President of Frelimo.

Presenting the resolution to this effect, the party's General Secretary, Filipe Paunde, said that the desire to keep Guebuza at the head of the party was the general feeling of the central and local bodies of Frelimo, of its affiliated social organisations (such as the Mozambican Women's Organisation, OMM, and the Mozambican Youth Organisation, OJM), and of the party's members and sympathizers.

In its resolution, the Central Committee said that Guebuza had been a catalyst in the growth of Frelimo, since the Party's ninth congress, held in the central city of Quelimane in 2006.

The Party's membership had grown from 1.7 million in 2006 to 3.6 million now (out of a total population of just over 23 million last year, according to the projections from the National Statistics Institute, INE). Over the same period, the number of Frelimo branches had increased by 215 per cent.

The average number of members per branch had been reduced, making the party more effective, the resolution said.

"Frelimo has grown in all dimensions, and is implanted throughout the country, in all spheres", it added. "Party bodies are operating with more dynamism and regularity, and the Party's leading role over state and society has been strengthened".

It attributed much of this success to Guebuza, describing him as "a leader of far-sighted vision, dedicated to strengthening national unity and the cohesion of the Party".

Furthermore "the good performance of the government, and the economic and social development that the country is recording, are the fruit of the good leadership" of Guebuza, the resolution claimed.

The decision to propose Guebuza for re-election as Frelimo President is entirely expected, and echoes what happened at the party's Eighth Congress in 2002, when Joaquim Chissano was re-elected Party President, even though he was not running for another term of office as Head of State.

After the 2004 elections, when Guebuza was elected President of the Republic, Chissano remained at the head of Frelimo for a few more months, before resigning to allow Frelimo once again to combine the posts of President of the Party and President of the Republic in the hands of the same person.

A similar scenario is likely this time, although it is not yet known who will be the Frelimo candidate in the 2014 presidential election.

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