Mozambique president elected head of ruling party

2015-03-29 21:16

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Maputo - Mozambique's President Filipe Nyusi was elected head of the ruling party Frelimo on Sunday, allaying fears his predecessor was planning to cling to power behind the scenes.

Nyusi took over at the helm of the party from Mozambique's ex-president Armando Guebuza, Frelimo spokesperson Damiao Jose told reporters, ending weeks of uncertainty.

He was elected with 98.4% of the vote at the annual congress of the supreme decision-making body of the Marxist-Leninist party, which has ruled the former Portuguese colony since independence 40 years ago.

Guebuza, 72, was succeeded by 56-year-old former defence minister Nyusi as leader of the southern African nation in January following an October election.

Guebuza was not eligible to run for president as he had served a second and final term, but he could have stayed on as party head as his mandate was not due to expire until 2017.

Seen as a Guebuza protege, Nyusi represents a changing of the guard at Frelimo, which has been headed by former freedom fighters since independence in 1975.

Although Mozambique remains one of the world's poorest countries, it has posted a seven percent average annual growth rate in recent years.

It is poised to earn billions of dollars in foreign investment over the next decade on the back of discoveries of significant coal and gas deposits.

Read more on:    frelimo  |  mozambique  |  southern africa

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