Mozambique’s Ruling Party Names Surprise Presidential Candidate Amid Economic Revival Efforts

May 14, 2024 | News, Politics | 0 comments

Mozambique’s ruling party, the Liberation Front of Mozambique (Frelimo), has made an unexpected choice for its next leader and presidential candidate ahead of the October elections. Daniel Chapo, currently serving as the governor of the coastal Inhambane province, emerged as Frelimo’s flagbearer, signalling a shift in leadership dynamics within the party.

Chapo, a lawyer and former radio presenter, secured the party’s nomination despite not having served in the national cabinet. His selection came as President Filipe Nyusi’s preferred successor, Roque Silva, failed to garner support within Frelimo’s ranks.

As Mozambique grapples with economic challenges and seeks to revive major investments, Chapo faces significant tasks ahead. The country, ranked among the world’s poorest, is striving to restart a $20 billion natural gas export project led by TotalEnergies. Construction on the project was halted in 2021 following a deadly attack by Islamic State-linked insurgents in the northern Cabo Delgado province.

While recent progress has been made in pushing back militants with the assistance of regional troops, sporadic attacks continue to pose security risks. Additionally, French prosecutors’ enquiries into allegations of involuntary manslaughter related to the project’s subcontractors’ safety measures have raised concerns among project backers, including TotalEnergies. The company maintains its innocence in the matter.

Chapo’s leadership will be pivotal in navigating Mozambique’s economic revival efforts and addressing the complex challenges facing the nation, including security concerns and investment prospects.