Mozambique: Central Committee to Choose Presidential Candidate On 3 May

Maputo — The Political Commission of Mozambique's ruling Frelimo Party on Monday announced that it has called an extraordinary meeting of the party's full Central Committee for 3 May with the sole purpose of choosing the Frelimo candidate for the presidential election scheduled for 9 October.

The Frelimo spokesperson, Ludmila Maguni, announced the decision at a press briefing shortly after the end of a Political Commission meeting in Maputo.

At the last meeting of the Central Committee, on 5-6 April, a decision on the presidential candidate was postponed.

To the amazement of observers inside and outside Frelimo, the question of the succession was not on the meeting's original agenda. But it clearly became a major topic of discussion, particularly after a respected veteran of the independence war, Oscar Monteiro, declared that the presidential candidate was the most important issue that should be discussed.

Monteiro spoke at a meeting of the national committee of the Association of Veterans of the National Liberation Struggle (ACLLN), which immediately preceded the Central Committee meeting.

"There is an elephant in the room, and that elephant is the elections', he said. Frelimo was "very late' in announcing the names of possible presidential candidates, and this delay might cost it dear at the ballot box.

Despite this, the Central Committee did not select a candidate - but it did promise to do so in the very near future.

At his speech on 6 April closing the meeting, President Filipe Nyusi announced that the Political Commission would meet within a matter of days. It would receive proposals of names for the Frelimo presidential candidate, and would channel them to the Central Committee.

Under the Party's statutes, it is the Central Committee which chooses the candidate.

"We hope, as was decided, that within a few days this process will come to a conclusion', said Nyusi. "The Political Commission will submit to the Central Committee the proposals for the Frelimo candidate for the Presidency, as soon as possible, bearing in mind the electoral calendar'.

However, Maguni claimed that "so far there are no candidates. We still have no names to announce'.

Yet at least one member of the Central Committee has already publicly announced his intention of standing for the Presidency. He is Samora Machel Junior, the son of the country's first President, Samora Machel.

He submitted a political manifesto to the Frelimo Central Committee, which was published in early April by the independent weekly "Savana'.

Frelimo was always "a party of masses', said Machel. "It should represent the aspirations of the people. All Mozambicans must have access to the same opportunities. The land, the sea, the rivers, the mineral resources belong to Mozambicans and must be available for the common well-being'.

Independent Mozambique was historically linked to Frelimo and "there is no way to think about the country without thinking about Frelimo', he stressed.

Machel promised to pay special attention to the organisation of Frelimo, and particularly to "internal reforms aimed at recognising justice and adapting to the historical moment and to technological advances'.

He pledged "to establish transparent mechanisms to ensure equitable representation, accountability and democratic participation. We will build a party structure that promotes inclusion and gives a voice to all members, strengthening the foundations of true democracy'.

"Let us together rescue the good name of the party, and value the efforts of the Armed Struggle for National Liberation', Machel urged.

He warned that he intends to "combat the impunity of those who are not on the side of the law and of the people'. He intended to see "the culture of merit prevail over the culture of privilege'.

AllAfrica publishes around 500 reports a day from more than 100 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.