MAPUTO, Mozambique — The ruling Marxist party today elected Foreign Minister Joaquim Chissano to succeed the late Samora M. Machel as president of Mozambique.
The 47-year-old Chissano, who is regarded as a moderate Marxist, becomes this southern African nation's second president just over two weeks after Machel was killed in a plane crash in South Africa.
The 120-member Central Committee chose Chissano as leader of the nation's lone party, the Front for the Liberation of Mozambique. Under the constitution, he automatically also becomes president of the nation and commander in chief of the armed forces.
Chissano was a close friend of the 53-year-old Machel and a colleague in Frelimo's decade-long guerrilla struggle against Portuguese colonial rule. He had been foreign minister since independence in 1975, and served as prime minister during a six-month transitional period before Machel took power.