Mozambique: 2009 Party candidate lists for Assembly of the Republic election

Updated November 2009

Background: Proportional representation and constituencies

Proportional representation is used to allocate seats in the Assembly of the Republic and Mozambique uses 13 constituencies to elect the members through party lists for each constituency (Law 7/2007, 128, 158, 159.1.). The 10 provinces and the city of Maputo return a total of 248 MPs; the number of seats allocated to each of these constituencies is determined afresh by the CNE for each election and is based on the proportion of voters registered in each. Expatriates in Europe and Africa return 1 member each.

The CNE's decisions

The National Electoral Commission (CNE) published the lists of candidates that met the requirements of the electoral law piecemeal on 5 and 6 September 2009 and many candidates were disqualified because the legally required supporting documentation had not been supplied (Hanlon 2009a, 1). The CNE is required by law to scrutinise the supporting documentation to ensure that the candidates are legally eligible (nomination requirements and procedures are governed by Law 7/2007, 166-179). Candidates are nominated by parties or coalitions on separate lists for each of the 13 constituency used for the election of the Assembly of the Republic. They are submitted to the NEC along with supporting documentation for each candidate on the list such as a certificate from the police stating that the candidate does not have a criminal record. In many cases the disqualification of candidates led to entire lists being rejected by the CNE since they no longer contained the minimum number of candidates required by law (Hanlon 2009a, 1). The Law specifies that a constituency candidate list should contain as many candidates' names as are eligible to be elected to the Assembly of the Republic from that constituency plus an additional three names.

The Constitutional Council's ruling

The Movimento Democrático de Moçambique (MDM), which had submitted lists for all the 13 constituencies but had had nine lists rejected by the CNE, appealed to the Constitutional Council against the CNE's decision. The Constitutional Council ruled in favour of the CNE and upheld the disqualification of the nine lists (Hanlon 2009b, 1).

The effect of the decisions

Only in the cases of the ruling party the Frente de Libertação de Moçambique (FRELIMO) and the main opposition party the Resistência Nacional Moçambicana (RENAMO) were the lists for all thirteen constituencies accepted, for they had submitted sufficiently more names than the minimum number requited on each of their lists and thus met the legal requirements even after disqualifications (Hanlon 2009a, 1). The Mozambique Democratic Movement, launched earlier in 2009, found that nine of its 13 lists had been rejected and only four accepted (Hanlon 2009a, 1). EISA Mozambique Country Director Miguel de Brito informed the writer in an e-mail (11 September 2009) that excluded parties were appealing to the Constitutional Council's against the CNE's decision. In November 2008, in ruling on a case, the Constitutional Council strongly rebuked the CNE for failing to adhere strictly to the law governing election candidates saying that the law did not allow the CNE to publish provisional candidate lists and or to amend candidate lists after it had published them (Hanlon 2008, 1, 2).

References

CONSTITUTION OF MOZAMBIQUE 2004. For Portuguese see: Constituição da República de Moçambique (incluindo as revisões de 1994 e 2004), [www] http://www.mozambique.mz/pdf/constituicao.pdf [PDF document, opens new window] (accessed 22 Feb 2010).

HANLON, J 2008, "CNE 'flagrantly' violating law says Constitutional Council", Mozambique Political Process Bulletin, 2008 Local Election Issue 6, 15 November, [www] http://www.open.ac.uk/technology/mozambique/pics/d103057.pdf [PDF document, opens new window] (accessed 11 Mar 2010).

HANLON, J 2009a, "MDM to stand in only four provinces", Mozambique Political Process Bulletin, 2009 Elections Issue 1, 11 September.

HANLON, J 2009b, " CC rejects MDM appeal; says MDM had too few candidates", Mozambique Political Process Bulletin, 2009 Elections Issue 1, 11 September.

LAW 7/2007 of 26 February (governs election of the President and the National Assembly).
For Portuguese see: Lei no 7/2007, [www] http://aceproject.org/ero-en/regions/africa/MZ/mocambique-lei-n-7-2007-in-portuguese/at_download/file [PDF document, opens new window] (accessed 9 Mar 2010).