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Mozambique heads to the polls on October 15th , 2014 to vote in presidential and parliamentary elections. This is the fifth election in the country since the end of the civil war in 1992.

The ruling Front for the Liberation of Mozambique (FRELIMO) has run the country since the country gained independence from Portugal in 1975. Over 10.8 million people are said to have registered to vote in these elections.[1]

Presidential Elections

The term of office of the president is 5 years and he or she may seek re-election for a non-renewable second term. The president need to obtain more than 50% of the voter, otherwise a run-off is held between the two strongest candidates.[2] The outgoing president Armando Guebuza is stepping down down after serving his mandatory two-term presidency.

The three leading candidates are Felipe Nyussi, the outgoing defence minister, of the Mozambique Liberation Front (FRELIMO), Afonso Dhlakama of the Mozambican National Resistance (RENAMO) and Daviz Simango of the Democratic Movement of Mozambique(MDM)

Parliamentary Elections.

Mozambique has a Unicameral Parliament and uses the party-list proportional representation voting system.[3] The last parliamentary elections were held in 2009 with the ruling party FRELIMO winning 191 of the 250 seats, RENAMO, 51 seats and MDM 8 seats. [4]

Women Political Participation:

The Constitution of Mozambique 1990 (amended 1994, 2004) [5], recognizes formal equality between men and women before the law. There are, however, no constitutional or legal provisions that provide for quotas to ensure women’s representation in elected office.[6] However, despite this lack of legal quotas, women’s political representation is higher in Mozambique than in most of Southern Africa, save for South Africa, which now stands at 40.75% [7]of women in parliament from the last elections in May 2014.

FRELIMO being the largest party in Mozambique, has a high quota for women’s representation and has used this since 1994. The party stipulates that 40% of its candidates to the national assembly and local government elections be women.[8]

Therefore, although there are no constitutional provisions for quotas for women in the Country, as a party, FRELIMO provides for quotas in its constitution, and its large numbers in parliament have ensured that women in Mozambique are fairly well represented.

 

As of the last elections in 2009, women held 98 out of 250 seats (39.20%)[9]. The Speaker of Parliament, Ms. Veronica Nataniel Macamo Dlovo (FRELIMO) was elected speaker in 2010 and she is the first woman in Mozambique to hold that post.

Women in Mozambique do hold key positions in the legislature and the executive with 29 per cent holding ministerial positions, three of the seven Supreme Court justices are women and 54.5% of all judges are women.[10]

Conclusion:

Although women hold 39.20% of seats in parliament in Mozambique and one of the highest in the world, this is reflective of only one party, FRELIMO, which requires 40% of women on its lists for parliamentary and local government elections. Women’s representation can be achieved even more if all the other parties introduce quotas in their Constitutions and party lists. As a country that does not have a legal provision in the Constitution and national electoral laws providing for quotas, Mozambique still has ways to go before it can realize its full potential in terms of women’s political participation.

Women Political Representation Statistics

Women’s Political Representation

As of 2009

As of 2014

Female Members of Parliament

98/250 (39.20%)

N/A

 

 

 

 

 



[1] allAfrica.com: Mozambique Elections 2014 Fact Sheet, http://allafrica.com/stories/201410090406.html

[3] IPU PARLINE database: MOZAMBIQUE (Assembly of the Republic), Electoral System, http://www.ipu.org/parline/reports/2223_B.htm

[4] IPU PARLINE database: Mozambique (Assembly of the Republic), Last Elections, http://www.ipu.org/parline-e/reports/2223_E.htm

[5] Articles 66,67

[7] IPU PARLINE database: SOUTH AFRICA (National Assembly), Last Elections, http://www.ipu.org/parline-e/reports/2291_E.htm

[9] IPU PARLINE database: MOZAMBIQUE (Assembly of the Republic), http://www.ipu.org/parline-e/reports/2223_A.htm

[10] Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2013:Mozambique, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/humanrightsreport/index.htm#wrapper

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