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Elections leave Frelimo no closer to picking new leader

With now less than a year until general elections, commentators agree that the race to be Frelimo’s presidential candidate is still wide open

Today’s front pages in Maputo. Photo © Faizal Chauque / Zitamar News

Good afternoon. Samora Machel Junior is back in the headlines today, having made comments at a commemoration of his father, Mozambique’s first president, about the direction Frelimo is taking. His criticisms of the ruling party have gone down well with the electorate, if commenters on social media can be taken as representative; many of those would like to see him chosen as Frelimo’s next candidate for president.

With now less than a year until general elections, seasoned commentators agree that the race to be that candidate is still wide open. Such a situation is not unprecedented; Nyusi’s selection in March 2014 was a surprise, seven months before the elections. A similar situation can be expected when Frelimo’s Central Committee meets next March.

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From the Zitamar Live Blog:

Zitamar Mozambique Live Blog
Cabo Ligado Update: 16-29 October 2023 ◾️Insurgent groups move south into Quissanga district ◾️Civil unrest follows confirmation of Frelimo victories in local elections ◾️Indian oil minister visits Mozambique to discuss LNG restart in Cabo Delgado Also available in Portuguese

The Central Committee will also meet sooner than that to discuss the party’s performance in the recent municipal elections. Those discussions will serve to some extent as a performance review for the campaign manager, Celso Correia. Though he has, as things stand, managed to preside over winning 64 out of 65 municipalities, anyone with eyes and ears knows that Frelimo actually took a hammering in these elections. Celso may have done well in Nampula, the province for which he had particular responsibility; but the failure to win over the electorate nationwide will not serve his chances of succeeding Nyusi.

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