Maputo – The Political Commission of Mozambique’s ruling Frelimo Party on Wednesday decided, unanimously and by acclamation, to propose Filipe Nyusi for a second term as president of the party.

The vote will be held at the Frelimo 11th Congress, due to start on 26 September in the southern city of Matola.

The Political Commission justified its decision on the grounds that Frelimo “must remain a strong, dynamic party, which promotes national unity, peace, dialogue and structural and institutional changes”.
This concern “imposes continuity in the leadership of society and of the Mozambican state”.

The resolution from the Commission praised Nyusi for his role in the “positive results” that can be seen in Mozambique’s economic recovery and in the search for effective peace.

The Commission also lauded Nyusi’s presidential visits around the country which were promoting “the spirit of self-esteem and of work, seeking to increase production and productivity, which is indispensable for overcoming poverty”.

The Political Commission said it was “proud to have Comrade Filipe Nyusi as helmsman of this historic, experienced, vanguard and popular party”, and so would present Nyusi to the Congress as its candidate to lead the party for the next five years.

This does not necessarily mean that Nyusi will be unopposed. Other delegates to the Congress could propose alternative candidates, but with the entire top Frelimo leadership backing Nyusi that seems rather unlikely.

Nyusi’s rise to prominence has been meteoric. He was not elected to the Frelimo Central Committee until 2012. Two years later he was the Frelimo candidate for the 2014 presidential election, even though his only previous government experience was as defence minister, from 2008.

When he became President of the Republic, his predecessor, Armando Guebuza, was still President of Frelimo and showed every sign of intending to keep that position. As a Central Committee meeting approached, in March 2015, the party’s then spokesperson, Damiao Jose, insisted that Guebuza would retain the position of Frelimo President until 2017.

But the Central Committee forced Guebuza’s resignation, and replaced him with Nyusi, even though Nyusi had never been elected a member of the Political Commission, Frelimo’s most powerful body, and only attended Commission meetings because of his position as president.

Nyusi’s re-election as president of Frelimo will make it almost inevitable that he will be the Frelimo candidate in the Presidential election of 2019. That decision, however, will be taken not by the Congress, but a Central Committee meeting nearer the date of the election. – AIM.

September 2017
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