Mozambique held general elections for President and Parliament on October 28, 2009. Due to their time in reporting results and also the number of major elections since then, this election fell under the radar for me and I’m left to post about it quite late.
Mozambique, a former Portuguese colony, became an independent nation in 1975 under the leadership of left-wing Marxist rebel Samora Machel. Soon thereafter, Machel’s communist-influenced regime in the tip of Africa erupted in civil war, with Machel’s Liberation Front of Mozambique (FRELIMO) facing the conservative Mozambican National Resistance (RENAMO). RENAMO was funded by Ian Smith’s Rhodesian government and the apartheid regime in South Africa. The Civil War came to an end in 1992, with the Rome Accords and a democratic regime, in practice a democratic (or semi-democratic) one-party dominant state, was installed. FRELIMO has won all elections since 1994, most of which were generally decent though obviously marked by serious issues. FRELIMO candidate Armando Guebuza won 63.7% in the 2004 presidential election, defeating RENAMO candidate Afonso Dhlakama.
In 2009, both President Guebuza and Afonso Dhlakama ran again, but they were joined by the Mayor of Beira (northern Mozambique), Daviz Simango of the new Democratic Movement of Mozambique (MDM) – a split off of RENAMO.
Armando Guebuza (FRELIMO) 75%
Afonso Dhlakama (RENAMO) 16.41%
Daviz Simango (MDM) 8.59%
FRELIMO 74.66% winning 191 seats (+31)
RENAMO 17.68% winning 51 seats (-39)
MDM 3.93% winning 8 seats (+8)
Others 3.73% winning 0 seats (±0)
RENAMO has continued its great tradition of rejecting election results, calling these elections a sham (there was some fraud, but not enough fraud to alter results majorly) and demanding, like they always do, their cancellation and the creation of a government of national unity and so forth. RENAMO relied on rather shaky evidence, and publicized their evidence of fraud only after the ink stains on voters’ fingers had faded. In addition, they’ve also taken up the old shtick of threatening “further actions” in their so-called aim to preserve democracy in Mozambique. They usually do that every year or so. The MDM has also denounced fraud, but they didn’t ask for the elections to be annulled.