Felipe Nyusi, Filipe Nyusi - Mozambique

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The face of President Filipe Nyusi beams from flags billowing across Mozambique’s city of Beira, where T-shirts and posters colour the streets with his Frelimo party’s signature red in what is usually an opposition stronghold. Frelimo’s show of force ahead of presidential, provincial and legislative elections on Oct. 15 could signal problems for the main opposition party Renamo, and also threaten a peace agreement signed between the two civil war rivals in August. While Nyusi is all but certain to be re-elected president, the peace deal has given Renamo hope of winning more political power in a country dominated by Frelimo since the southern African country’s independence from Portugal in 1975. Under the deal, provincial governors will now be picked by the main party in each province, rather than the government in Maputo, and Renamo is banking on traditional provincial strongholds such as Sofala to gain influence. “The biggest threat to the peace process is if Renamo does not deliver a good number of provinces,” said Alex Vines, head of the Africa programme at Chatham House. The elections come at a difficult time for Mozambique, a poor country with a population of 30 million. Cities such as Beira were smashed by two devastating cyclones this year and there is a festering Islamist insurgency in the north, which is right on the doorstop of blockbuster projects to develop vast natural gas reserves. The projects led by oil giants such as Exxon Mobil Corp and Total are expected to attract investment of…

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