6. July 2009

Mozambique: Frelimo Elects Its Candidates in Most Provinces

The provincial committees of Mozambique's ruling Frelimo Party elected most of the party's candidates for the October parliamentary elections over the weekend.

There were several upsets. Thus in the western province of Tete, the provincial governor, Ildefonso Muanantatha, was not elected onto the list, as either a full or alternate candidate. Muanantatha became notorious in April when he was accused of issuing death threats against Bernardo Carlos, a reporter on the Maputo daily "Noticias".

Other provincial governors proved more popular, at least among Frelimo members. Thus the governors of Maputo, Manica, and Zambezia provinces, respectively Telmina Pereira, Mauricio Vieira, and Carvalho Muaria all won election as full candidates.

In the northern province of Cabo Delgado, the current spokesperson for the Frelimo parliamentary group, Feliciano Mata, only scraped onto the list as an alternate candidate. He is thus unlikely to enter the new parliament - the only chance that alternate candidates have of taking a seat is if full candidates die, resign or are temporarily absent.

Nyeleti Mondlane, daughter of the founder and first president of Frelimo, Eduardo Mondlane, won election to the list in Zambezia, as did the chairperson of the confederation of Mozambican business associations (CTA), Salimo Abdula, and the Minister of State Administration, Lucas Chomera.

Other government members elected to the lists included Finance Minister Manuel Chang in Gaza, and the Minister of Women's Affairs and Social Welfare, Virgilia Matabele, in Inhambane.

The results are not yet available from all the provincial meetings, and in one province, Sofala, the election has been postponed. Competition for places on the Sofala list is likely to be acute. This is because Sofala is an opposition stronghold, and Frelimo cannot realistically hope to win more than six or seven seats there. So it is not enough to be a full candidate on the list - to be sure of entering parliament, a Frelimo Sofala candidate must be among the first half dozen names on the list.

Meanwhile, prominent business figure Hermenegildo Gamito has denied Sunday reports that he was defeated in the Frelimo election in Maputo city. He told the independent television station STV that the reason he is not on the list is that he was not even standing. (South Scan)

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