Mozambique: Frelimo Proposes New Speaker for Assembly

Maputo — Mozambique's ruling Frelimo Party has proposed Esperanca Bias as its candidate for the post of chairperson (Speaker) of the country's parliament, the Assembly of the Republic.

The outgoing chairperson. Veronica Macamo, received the nomination on Saturday from the office of President Filipe Nyusi. Macamo had chaired the Assembly for the past ten years.

61 year old Esperanca Bias was born in 1958 on Mozambique Island, off the coast of the northern province of Nampula. Since 2018, she has chaired the Assembly's Plan and Budget Commission.

From 1999 to 2005, she was Deputy Minister of Mineral Resources. In 2005, she was promoted to Minister of Mineral Resources, a post she held until 2015, when she took up a seat in the Assembly.

Since Frelimo holds 184 of the 250 seats in the Assembly, there can be no doubt that Bias will become chairperson when the new Assembly holds its first sitting on Monday. It is not yet known whether the opposition parties, Renamo and the Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM), will put forward candidates. The Assembly's rules demand that a secret ballot election be held, but the result is a foregone conclusion.

Monday's sitting, to be chaired by Nyusi, has just two points on its agenda - the investiture of the new deputies and the election of the chairperson.

Meeting in the Frelimo Party School in the southern city of Matola, the Frelimo deputies also elected a new leadership for the party's parliamentary group. After15 years in the post, Margarida Talapa is standing down as head of the group and will be replaced by the man who was formerly her deputy, Sergio Pantie.

Chairing the meeting, Nyusi said that Talapa had been willing to resign in 2015, but he had asked her to stay on for a further five year Assembly sitting.

The new deputy head of the Frelimo group is Lucinda Malema, who has been a member of the Assembly for the past decade.

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