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Courtesy of Frelimo Moçambique (File photo)
Delegates to the 11th Congress of Mozambique’s ruling Frelimo Party, meeting in the southern city of Matola, on Saturday began to elect the party’s new Central Committee.
The ballot paper is complex, making the voting and the count long drawn out. The results are not expected until Sunday.
There are 180 full members of the Central Committee and 18 candidate members (who fill in the gaps if any full members die or resign). In addition the 11 provincial first party secretaries sit on the Central Committee ex oficio, as do the general secretaries of the Party’s three “social organizations” – namely the Mozambican Women’s Organisation (OMM), the Mozambican Youth Organisation (OJM) and the Association of Veterans of the National Liberation Struggle (ACLLN).
Addressing a press briefing, the Congress spokesperson, Antonio Niquice, explained that, if approved, the change to the statutes increasing the size of the Central Committee to 230 full members and 23 candidate members will only take effect at the next Congress, in 2022.
119 Central Committee members have already been elected at the Party’s provincial conferences that preceded the Congress. But the Congress must approve all the members elected at the conferences.
The Conferences saw some upsets in that several mayors and provincial governors were not elected to the Central Committee – those who fell at this hurdle included the Mayor of Maputo, David Simango, and the governors of the central provinces of Sofala and Zambezia, namely Helena Taipo and Abdul Razak.
At the Congress there is a list of 114 candidates for the remaining 61 seats on the Central Committee. What makes the election complicated is that there are quotas for women, youth, veterans of the liberation struggle, and the category of “social and economic sectors”.
Furthermore, Frelimo operates the principle of “Renewal in Continuity” – the mathematical expression of this is that 60 per cent of the outgoing Central Committee should be re-elected, and 40 per cent will be newcomers. This gives Congress delegates a ballot paper with no less than ten different sections.
The continuity section for men contains 41 names competing for 23 places, and that for women 26 names for 13 seats. The renewal section for men has nine names for six places, and for women there are also nine names but for just four seats.
The youth section, all considered as renewal, has the names of nine men for four seats and four women for two seats. The veterans section, also all new names, has four men competing for three places and four women for two places.
Among those hoping to be elected in the renewal section are several members of the government – including Prime Minister Carlos Agostinho do Rosario, Transport Minister Carlos Mesquita, Interior Minister Basilio Monteiro, and the Minister for Gender, Children and Social Welfare, Cidalia Chauque.
Once it has been elected, the Central Committee will hold its first meeting, which will elect the Frelimo Political Commission (which should contain between 15 and 21 members), the Party’s General Secretary and Secretariat, and the chairperson and other members of the Verification Commission, the Party’s disciplinary body.Source: AIM