n African Security Review - Mozambique's 2004 general elections : Africa watch

Volume 14, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1024-6029
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The latest general elections in Mozambique, in December 2004, saw the Front for the Liberation of Mozambique (FRELIMO) emerging as a clear victor - its third national election victory since the start of the multiparty system. FRELIMO has now governed Mozambique continuously since independence in 1975. Its candidate, Armando Guebuza, has become Mozambique's third president, following Samora Machel (who died in 1986 while in office) and the current president, Joaquim Chissano, who stood down in February 2005. <br>For Mozambique's political elite, whose image was greatly damaged by corruption scandals and the related murder of well-known journalist Carlos Cardoso in 2000, challenging tasks lie ahead. Part of the challenge entails bringing people back into formal politics, as the December 2004 elections showed a poor turnout. Even more worrying, when one considers the historical distrust between the Mozambican National Resistance (RENAMO) and FRELIMO, was the almost complete lack of political voices other than these two main contenders. RENAMO emerged with 27 fewer parliamentary seats than it had held before the election, and no other party made it into parliament. FRELIMO will therefore meet little opposition in the next five years. But will the change of presidency in Mozambique offer opportunities for a fresh approach to the country's problems?

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