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The Portuguese president’s blunder

The Portuguese president showed a lack of judgement in allowing himself to be photographed with Frelimo’s presidential candidate

Portuguese president Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa

Good afternoon. Portuguese president Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa has been criticised by Renamo, Mozambique’s largest opposition party, for appearing in a photo shaking hands with Daniel Chapo, ruling party Frelimo’s candidate for president of Mozambique, while Chapo was visiting Lisbon. The photo was then circulated by Frelimo with its logo and a message from Chapo thanking Rebelo de Sousa for his “teaching and encouragement”. This three months before the Mozambican presidential election.

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Instead of distancing himself from this blatant opportunism, Rebelo de Sousa’s office has simply said that he would be happy to meet other presidential candidates. The Portuguese president has shown a remarkable lack of political sensitivity for a man of his wisdom and experience. Especially so if, as we understand, the dinner he attended with Chapo was a gathering of Frelimo supporters. In that case, he should never have attended in the first place.

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