n African Journal on Conflict Resolution - Towards stable electoral laws in Mozambique

Volume 4, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1562-6997


Following a protracted violent conflict that engulfed Mozambique spanning a period of 16 years of armed war that has destroyed not only lives and infrastructure, but also debilitated the social tissue of the nation, the country seems poised for stability and economic progress. Having adopted a centrally controlled system after independence in 1975 to structure the country to move towards development guided by the socialist ideology, in 1990 a new constitution was adopted to bring about far-reaching transformation in both the economic realm and political domain. Subsequent to the historic General Peace Agreement (GPA) signed in 1992, which effectively ended the war, Mozambique nurtured the new-found peace with its first democratic election held in 1994 for the presidency and the national parliament. As part of the conflict management mechanism of the GPA, the 1990 Constitution was amended to allow the country to adopt a proportional representation electoral system. The 1994 democratic election and its outcome surely helped deepen reconciliation between the belligerent parties and this process was given even more impetus by the 1998 local government elections and the 1999 general election, despite complaints of other contestants in both events. That there were high expectations from all key actors in advance of the 2003 local government elections and the 2004 general election is thus no wonder.

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