Mozambique: 1999 Election review (continued)

On 15 January Joachim Chissano was inaugurated for a second and last mandate as the President of the Republic in the presence of Dr Mario Mangaze, the president of the Supreme Court.

The peace process and elections

Following a series of negotiations started in 1990 under the auspices of the religious mediators from Sant Egidio in Rome, FRELIMO and RENAMO signed the Rome General Peace Accord in October 1992 and ended the 16 year old civil war. A new Constitution was adopted on 30 November 1990.

From 27 to 29 October 1994, the country held its first multi-party presidential and parliamentary elections. FRELIMO's Joaquim Chissano won the presidential election in the first round with 53.3% of the total votes cast and his rival Afonso Dlhakama of RENAMO obtained 33.3% of the votes cast. The election for the 250-member Parliament was also won by FRELIMO with 44.3% of the vote cast, followed by RENAMO with a strong showing of 37.8%. The Democratic Union, a coalition of three parties, also met the national threshold of 5% of the total votes cast to enter Parliament. The remaining 13% represented the total votes won by the other parties, which had failed to obtain the required minimum of 5%. These votes were redistributed among the winners. Their respective percentages changed as follows: FRELIMO moved to 51% (129 parliamentary seats) RENAMO increased its share to 44% (112 parliamentary seats) and the UD maintained its 5.15% (9 parliamentary seats).

An analysis of the results in terms of party strength by province shows that FRELIMO secured a majority of votes in six of the 11 electoral constituencies, namely, Maputo City, Maputo Province, Gaza, Inhambane, Niassa and Cabo Delgado. RENAMO was the majority party in the remaining five provinces: Manica, Nampula, Sofala, Tete and Zambezia.

A request by RENAMO to be assigned the governorships of the five provinces where it secured a majority of the votes in the parliamentary election was rejected by President Chissano. Instead, the President appointed new governors in several provinces, all of whom were FRELIMO members. Moreover, all the portfolios in the new national government were assigned to members of FRELIMO.

The first local elections were held in June 1998 after several postponements. They were a failure in many regards but mainly because of poor organisation, a boycott by RENAMO and a voter turnout of only 15%.