This September, IAC experts performed a dedicated large-scale study of the socio-political situation in the Republic of Mozambique, with view of the elections scheduled for October 15. Our experts evaluate the general political and socio-economic situation in the country, data of opinion polls, as well as chances of the election competitors and the course of their election campaigns.
According to the sociological survey, the current president, leader of the ruling party FRELIMO (Mozambique Liberation Front) Filipe Nyusi broke away from all his competitors and has a rating of 62.3% among active voters (those who will most certainly go to the polling stations). President Nyusi’s approval rating has increased largely due to the truce with RENAMO (Mozambican National Resistance), successful foreign policy, and an eye-catching active election campaign.
FRELIMO’s rating increased up to 60.5%, leaving far behind RENAMO and MDM (Democratic Movement of Mozambique).
Data received through the survey indicate that FRELIMO and Filipe Nyusi have very high chances of a landslide victory in the October 15 elections.
Recall that on October 15, 2019, General elections are held in the Republic of Mozambique, which include:
– election of President of the Republic;
– Parliamentary elections to the Assembly of the Republic, where the constituency unit is a province; 248/250 seats are distributed proportionally and 2/250 are reserved for voters in Africa and Europe;
– legislative elections in 10 provinces (with the exception of Maputo city);
– provincial governors that will be elected for the first time in the country’s history (previously appointed).
Mozambique Liberation Front (FRELIMO), once at the head of the struggle for independence from Portugal, is the ruling party since 1975. It holds 144 seats in the last convocation of the Assembly, where the opposition parties are also represented, RENAMO (89 seats) and MDM (17 seats). FRELIMO holds one of the central places in Mozambique’s political system. According to the Constitution of the Republic of Mozambique, FRELIMO determines the main political course of the state, directs and supervises the activities of state bodies.
On October 15, 2019, 24 parties and 2 coalitions (a total of 26 participating political organizations) will compete for seats in the Assembly of the Republic (AR) in the General election. Of those, 11 are contesting for AR seats in all provinces and 15 – in certain provinces. The main political struggle is going between the three largest political parties: FRELIMO, RENAMO and MDM.
Elections to the Provincial Assemblies (PS) are held according to the mixed electoral system: 85% of seats are distributed by the proportional, and 15% – by the majority system. The leader of the regional party list that gains the majority of vote becomes the governor.
At the same time, the risks of destabilizing political situation may increase immediately after the elections.
Thus, if RENAMO does not get the desired results in the October 15 elections, the peace achieved in the country may again be threatened. The key point of tension will emerge from the provincial elections, some of which RENAMO is determined to win. However, FRELIMO does not plan to concede in the local race for power either.
Another threat to stability is the escalating factionalism within both parties. Thus, poorly controlled radical groups from RENAMO make no secret of their intention to ignore the election results, partly because they do not recognize the RENAMO candidate Ossufo Momade as the leader of their party.
There remains a significant threat of external interference in the political process. Western countries are interested in strengthening the opposition, first and foremost, MDM that consists of former RENAMO members. According to IAC analysts based in Mozambique, representatives of Western countries, including the U.S., actively support MDM candidate Daviz Simango, using their standard set of support-the-opposition technologies, by radicalizing society, organizing protests, primarily in the capital, spreading false information via media outlets, as well as using social networks to instigate conflicts between different population groups. Thus, using “color revolutions” technologies in Mozambique is quite possible. These destructive political technologies are unable to significantly affect the election results, but they can be used after the election to generate tension in the country.
The Russian Federation has a long history of relations with Mozambique and the USSR actively supported the fighters for the country’s independence. Presidents Vladimir Putin and Filipe Nyusi met this year to discuss plans to further develop long-term cooperation between the states. Russia officially supports the legitimately elected President Filipe Nyusi and FRELIMO party and seeks to maintain peace, sustainable development, sovereignty, and political stability of the Republic of Mozambique.
In March 2019, First Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council of the Russian Federation Nikolai Fedorov met with the parliamentary delegation of the Republic of Mozambique to discuss the prospects of economic partnership between the countries. In addition, Mr. Fedorov expressed hope that “general elections will promote further internal political stabilization in Mozambique”.
On August 20-23, 2019, during the official visit of the head of Mozambique to Russia (the first since 1987), a number of cooperation agreements on electric power, geology and subsoil use, trade, protection of classified information were signed; more than 90% of Mozambique’s external debt to Russia was written off.
Steadily adhering to the principle of non-interference in the sovereignty of the Republic of Mozambique and future elections, demonstrating support to legitimately elected political forces representing the majority of the country’s voters, the Russian Federation confirms the strategic nature and potential of relations between the two countries.