Moz opposition leader re-elected

Time of article published Jul 22, 2009

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Maputo - The leader of Mozambique's main and oldest opposition party Resistencia Nacional de Mocambique (Renamo), Afonso Dhlakama, will head the party for another five years.

This comes after he was elected at the party's congress which ended on Wednesday morning in the northern Nampula province.

A report on the state controlled Radio Mozambique said Dhlakama emerged a winner after he beat Rogerio Francisco Joao, a former guerrilla in the 16-year civil war which pitted ruling Frelimo against Renamo.

Dhlakama had led the then rebel movement since 1979 and stayed on as leader when it became a political party in 1992. It had failed to win a majority in the southern African country since then.

Discontent had divided the opposition party after most of its members defected to a new party led by Daviz Simango, a former Renamo member and mayor of Beira, the second capital.

Simango was fired from Renamo after he disobeyed party instructions to step down as a candidate for Beira. He instead opted to run as an independent.

Dhlakama will be his party's candidate for the October 28 presidential election. - Sapa

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