Mozambique’s Slide into One Party Rule

Issue Date April 2010
Volume 21
Issue 2
Page Numbers 151-165
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In 2009, Mozambique celebrated 17 years of peace and held its fourth round of general elections. Yet while peace has been consolidated, democracy has not. Each election has further entrenched the ruling party, Frelimo, which has used its control over state power and resources to maintain a highly uneven playing field. In the last elections serious irregularities, thinly veiled efforts to suppress competition, and an absence of transparency undermined the outcome’s legitimacy. A dubious electoral commission ruling marginalized a promising new opposition party, and the main opposition, Renamo, lost half its voting base. Democracy in Mozambique appears more fragile than ever.