Mozambique: Constitution

Updated September 2009

CONSTITUTION Constitution came into force in November 1990. Amended by Law 6/96 to allow for decentralisation of power. Further amendments passed in December 1998 to create an IEC and in November 2004 to weaken presidential power and provide for elected provincial assemblies[1].
FORM OF STATE Republic
HEAD OF STATE The President is Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Forces[3]. The President is elected by universal adult francise by an absolute majority and the tenure of office is five years. The President is restricted to two five year terms, but is eligible for reelection five years after previous terms[4].
EXECUTIVE Executive power lies with the President who appoints and dismisses the Prime Minister and who exercises executive power directly or through the Council of Ministers[5].
LEGISLATURE The Assembly of the Republic is the legislature and consists of 250 members elected every five years by proportional representation; 5% entry threshold abolished in 2006. 248 seats are elected from the 10 provinces and Maputo city, each acting as a constituency, with the number of seats alloated to each based on on the proportion of registered voters in each. Two members are elected by expatriates, one for Africa and Europe each[6].
JUDICIARY The judicial system comprises a Supreme Court, an Administrative Court and other lower courts as well as specialised courts[7]. The Supreme Court Consists of professional judges, appointed by the President and who decide matters of law and judges elected by the Assembly of the Republic[8]. The Administrative Court has jurisdiction over public administration and spending[9]. The Constitutional Council adjudicates on matters of constitutional and electoral law[10].
AMENDMENT Amendments to the constitution require a two-thirds majority in the Assembly of the Republic[11].
DEMOCRACY PROTECTION AGENCIES The Office of the Ombudsman is established by Article 256 of the Constitution; a bill to effectuate these provisions was introduced in Parliament in 2006 but has not yet been adopted[12].

Notes

[1] Constitution of Mozambique 1990.
[3] Constitution of Mozambique 1990, Article 117.
[4] Constitution of Mozambique 1990, Article 118. After a period of 5 years out of office the person is eligible to stand again.
[5] Constitution of Mozambique 1990, Article 121. An amendment in 2004 provides for an advisory body, the Council of State, who must be consulted by the President, but whose advice need not be heeded.
[6] Constitution of Mozambique 1990, Article 135 (See also Law 7/2007, 158-159).
[7] Constitution of Mozambique 1990, Article 167.
[8] Constitution of Mozambique 1990, Article 170.
[9] Constitution of Mozambique 1990, Article 173.
[10] Constitution of Mozambique 1990, Article 181.
[11] Constitution of Mozambique 1990, Article 199.
[12] Constitution of Mozambique 1990, Article 256.

References

CONSTITUTION OF MOZAMBIQUE 1990, [www] http://www.kituochakatiba.co.ug/mozamcon.htm [opens new window] (accessed 22 Feb 2010). 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 9 Mar 2010).

LAW 7/2007 of 26 February (governs election of the President and the National Assembly) replaces Electoral Law 7/2004.
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).