Mozambique’s Frelimo picks Guebuza for 2009 poll

Mozambique’s ruling Frelimo party on Sunday re-nominated sitting President Armando Guebuza as its candidate for the 2009 presidential election, a senior party official said.

Guebuza, a millionaire business executive, won election in 2004 with 64% of the popular vote against 32% for his opponent, Afonso Dhlakama, of the Renamo party.

Frelimo’s mobilisation and propaganda secretary Edson Macuacua, announcing the party leadership’s decision on Sunday, said Guebuza’s time in office had been marked by ”pragmatism, dialogue, discipline, stern planning and permanent interaction with the people”.

This, Macuacua said, provided a platform for his re-election in 2009 to continue leading Mozambicans ”in the battle against poverty”.

Guebuza, a Western-leaning technocrat who has relaxed investment rules and implemented other economic reforms, ran unopposed in the party’s internal nomination race.

When he took over from the veteran Joaquim Chissano in 2004, he promised to continue sound economic policies that have encouraged foreign investment.

Mozambique, one of Africa’s poorest countries and still largely dependent on agriculture, has become popular with foreign companies and investors interested in staking a claim to Africa’s vast mineral and energy resources. – Reuters

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