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Assembleia da Republica (Assembly of the Republic)

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Parliament name (generic / translated) Assembleia da Republica / Assembly of the Republic
Structure of parliament Unicameral
Dates of election / renewal (from/to) 28 October 2009
Purpose of elections Early elections were held for all seats in the Assembly of the Republic. The elections had previously taken place in December 2004.
On 20 April 2009, President Armando Guebuza issued a decree setting the date for parliamentary and presidential elections for 28 October. The 2009 elections were the fourth to be held since the end of the country's civil war in 1992.

The ruling Front for the Liberation of Mozambique (FRELIMO) has run the country since Mozambique gained independence from Portugal in 1975. It has won all multi-party elections - both parliamentary and presidential - since 1994. In the 2004 elections it won 160 out of the 250 parliamentary seats. The Mozambican National Resistance (RENAMO), a former rebel group against whom the FRELIMO-led government had fought a 15-year civil war, took 90 seats. In the 2004 presidential elections, Mr. Guebuza, a wealthy businessman backed by outgoing President Joachim Chisano beat long-time RENAMO leader Afonso Dhlakama.

Prior to the 2009 elections, RENAMO was reportedly losing ground due to an internal split. In March 2009, its dissidents formed the Democratic Movement of Mozambique (MDM) under the leadership of Mr. Daviz Simango. The MDM backed Mr. Simango, the mayor of Beira, the country's second largest city, as its presidential candidate. He is the son of a former FRELIMO Vice-President, Mr. Uria Simango, who was assassinated in the late 1970s.

Once again, FRELIMO and RENAMO respectively endorsed Mr. Guebuza and Mr. Dhlakama for the presidency. Mr. Dhlakama, contesting the presidential elections for the fourth time, said that he would not run for president again if he lost the 2009 elections.

In June, Mr. Simango survived an apparent assassination attempt that the police blamed on Mr. Dhlakama's bodyguards. Mr. Dhlakama and his party dismissed the allegations. However, the MDM and RENAMO have traded accusations ever since.

Nearly 30 parties applied to run for the parliamentary elections but the National Elections Commission (CNE) registered only 17 parties and two coalitions due to alleged registration irregularities. The CNE also rejected many MDM candidates for similar reasons. MDM leader Simango insisted that the nomination papers of rejected MDM candidates had been duly stamped by the CNE and thus there could not have been any irregularities. However, the CNE did not review its decision. Consequently, the MDM fielded candidates in only four of the 11 multi-member constituencies, while FRELIMO and RENAMO fielded candidates in all the constituencies.

FRELIMO, RENAMO and the MDM all campaigned on a similar platform, pledging to attract more foreign investment, develop the rural economy and fight corruption. They presented manifestos of varying lengths, ranging from a mere 350 words (RENAMO) to a 24-page tabloid (MDM) to a small book (FRELIMO).

President Guebuza pledged to reinforce national unity and consolidate peace. FRELIMO highlighted its record on fighting poverty through the Local Initiative Investment Budget (OIIL), with a budget of 7 million meticais (about US$ 263,000) to increase food production. According to FRELIMO, the OIIL had helped create 12,000 jobs since its inception in 2006. FRELIMO promised to provide more training, employment and housing, in particular to the youth and former combatants.

RENAMO pledged to bring about peace, stability, more democracy, development as well as freedom of expression and opinion. It promised to prevent starvation. It accused FRELIMO of election fraud, an allegation which FRELIMO denied.

MDM leader Simango labelled the FRELIMO government as a "fascist regime" and blamed it for "conserving its economic empire" at the cost of the poverty of many citizens. The MDM promised to focus on employment and opportunities for youth.

A total of 44.44 per cent of the 9.8 million registered voters turned out at the polls, up from the 36 per cent in 2004.

The Commonwealth and the European Union (EU) monitored the polls. They both praised the country for the well-organized and peaceful voting. The EU observers added that freedom of speech had been respected during the campaign period. However, the EU criticized the complexity of the electoral legal framework that had resulted in the rejection of some party lists. The Commonwealth observers criticized the National Elections Commission for its lack of transparency.

The final results gave 191 seats to FRELIMO, up from 160. RENAMO took 51, losing 39. The MDM won eight seats. Mr. Guebuza was re-elected as President.

On 28 December, the Constitutional Council dismissed RENAMO's claims of massive fraud and validated the election results.

The newly elected Assembly of the Republic held its first session on 12 January 2010. Ms. Verónica Nataniel Macamo Dlovo (FRELIMO) was elected as Speaker, becoming the first woman to assume the post in Mozambique. Only 16 of the 51 RENAMO members took the oath at the first session. Members who do not take their seats within thirty days of the first session automatically lose their parliamentary mandate.

On 14 January, Mr. Guebuza was sworn in for a second term.
Voter turnout
Round no 128 October 2009
Number of registered electors
Blank or invalid ballot papers
Valid votes
4'387'250 (44.44%)
Distribution of votes
Round no 1
Political Group Candidates Votes %
Mozambican Liberation Front (FRELIMO) 2'907'335 74.66
Mozambican National Resistance (RENAMO) 688'782 17.68
Democratic Movement of Mozambique (MDM) 152'836 3.93
Distribution of seats
Round no 1
Political Group Total
Mozambican Liberation Front (FRELIMO) 191
Mozambican National Resistance (RENAMO) 51
Democratic Movement of Mozambique (MDM) 8
Distribution of seats according to sex
Percent of women
Distribution of seats according to age
Distribution of seats according to profession
- Assembly of the Republic (29.01.2010)
- Mozambique News Agency (http://www.poptel.org.uk/mozambique-news/)

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