Maputo — The Political Commission of Mozambique's ruling Frelimo Party has put three names forward to the party's Central Committee as possible Frelimo candidates in next October's presidential election.
The three men, referred to as “pre-candidates”, are Agriculture Minister Jose Pacheco, Prime Minister Alberto Vaquina and Defence Minister Filipe Nhussi. Pacheco and Vaquina are both members of the Political Commission. Nhussi is not, but is a member of the Central Committee.
Vaquina has experienced a meteoric rise. His first senior government position was governor of the central province of Sofala, from 2005 to 2009. He was then moved to become governor of Tete province, a position he held until 2012.
At the Frelimo congress of September 2012, Vaquina was elected to the Political Commission. Shortly afterwards, President Armando Guebuza appointed him Prime Minister.
Pacheco has been a member of the Political Commission since 2002. His previous posts have included governor of the northern province of Cabo Delgado and Minister of the Interior. He is also head of the government delegation in the halting dialogue with the former rebel movement Renamo.
Nhussi is a mechanical engineer by profession, and was executive director of the northern division of the ports and railway company (CFM-Norte) prior to his appointment as Defence Minister in 2008.
The three names now go before the next meeting of the Central Committee - but the Political Commission has not yet fixed a date for the meeting.