Southern African News Features                                           SANF 09 No 02, January 2010
Mozambique - Election results confirmed by Constitutional Council

The Mozambican Constitutional Council has validated the results of the 28 October 2009 national election, which was won by President Armando Guebuza and his party.

This was after the opposition party challenged the results announced by the National Elections Commission (CNE) in November.

In its ruling on 28 December, the Constitutional Court said despite some irregularities that marred the electoral process, the results announced by the CNE are final as such irregularities have little impact on the results.

There can be no appeal against the decisions of the Constitutional Council as it has the final say on electoral disputes.

The council has now set 14 January as the date for Guebuza to be sworn in for his second and last term in office.

Once Guebuza has been sworn in, he will be able to name the new government thus completing Mozambique’s electoral process.

Members of the 250 National Assembly will take office on 12 January. The 812 members of the ten provincial assemblies were sworn in on 5 January.

Guebuza won the presidential election with 75 percent of the valid votes cast while the other two presidential candidates, Afonso Dhlakama of Renamo and Daviz Simango of the newly formed Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM) garnered 16 percent and nine percent respectively.

In the parliamentary polls the Front for Liberation of Mozambique (Frelimo) secured 191 out of a total of 250 seats.

After the last elections held in 2004, Frelimo had 160 seats, so the party has increased its representation in parliament by 20 percent.

Renamo came second with 51 seats, down from 90 held by the party after the previous election five years ago.

The newly formed MDM managed to get eight seats. This is not enough seats to have an official party group or "bench" (bancada) in the assembly which requires a minimum of 11 seats.

Renamo has announced that its deputies will not take up their seats in the assembly, which would leave the tiny MDM as the official opposition. However, this has financial implications for the elected representatives as they do not receive their allowances until after they are sworn in.

If not sworn in after 30 days then they are replaced with the next names on the Renamo party list, for another 30 days, and so on until the list is finished.

Renamo also adopted this position following the last elections in 2004, but eventually agreed to take up their seats in the assembly.

A total of 19 political parties took part in the national and provincial polls but none besides Frelimo, Renamo and MDM secured a seat in parliament.

However, the Popular Democratic Party (PPD) is the only minority party that managed to get a single seat in the 812 provincial assemblies.

Frelimo secured 704 seats while Renamo and MDM won 83 seats and 24 seats respectively. Frelimo was unopposed in 67 district constituencies.

Mozambique went to the polls on 28 October to choose a President, national assembly and, for the first time, provincial assemblies.

The country uses an electoral system of Proportional Representation with provinces and main urban areas defined as parliamentary constituencies at national level.

In its campaign manifesto, Frelimo pledged to tackle issues such as poverty, unemployment and service delivery.

The ruling party, which has never lost an election since the end of a civil war in 1994 has pledged to fulfill all its promises and improve the living standards of its people.

"We will continue to consolidate national unity, peace and democracy, essential factors for the country's development," President Guebuza told supporters at a victory party held in December.

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SANF is produced by the Southern African Research and Documentation Centre (SARDC), which has monitored regional developments since 1985

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