System of Government
The Constitution of the Republic of Mozambique provides for a presidential system of government in which the President is the Head of State, Head of Government and Head of the Armed Forces according to article 146. The President enjoys a wide range of powers such as appointing, exonerating and dismissing the Prime Minister and other Ministers, the provincial governors, the Procurator and Vice-Procurator General of the Republic (Attorney General and deputy Attorney General) as well as appointing the President and the Vice-President of the Supreme Court and the President of the Constitutional Council. In case of impediment or absence or, ultimately if there is a need for an interim replacement, the President of the Assembly of the Republic takes the office of the President. The government is represented at provincial level by the provincial governors.
The legislative power is vested in a 250 seats unicameral parliament- Assembleia da Republica- elected through a list proportional representation system. At the provincial level, the Provincial Assemblies are the body whose competence is inter alia to approve the provincial government programme and monitor its implementation.
The Constitution of Mozambique provides for a multiparty democratic republic founded in periodic elections on the basis of universal, direct, secret and equal suffrage. The President and the members Assembly of the Republic as well as the members of the Provincial Assemblies are elected for a five years term in office.
The president is elected on a two-round system: a candidate must receive above 50 per cent of valid votes; in the event that a candidate fails to cross this threshold a second round for presidential elections is called within 30 days after the announcement of results of the first round of elections by the Constitutional Council to be contested only between the two candidates who received the largest percentage of votes.
For 250 parliamentary seats election, the country is divided in 13 electoral districts (circulos eleitorais) corresponding to the 10 provincial administrative areas and the City of Maputo electing 248 members. The remaining two parliamentariansare elected by the two constituencies out of country: one for Mozambicans living in African countries and the second for the Mozambicans living in other countries. The 250 members of the Assembly of the Republic and the members of the Provincial Assemblies are elected on a list proportional representation system adopting the Highest Average-Hondt formula to allocate the seats. The election results for the two electoral districts representing the out of country voting is done by simple majority.
The main players in the administration of elections are the National Commission of Elections (CNE), the Technical Secretariat for Election Administration (STAE) and the Constitutional Council.
The National Commission of Elections is as an independent and permanent state body responsible for the direction and supervision of the electoral process having regulatory powers at its disposal. The members of the CNE have a mandate of five years. The National Commission of Elections is composed of 13 members including a president and 12 ordinary members, plus one representative of the government. Out of the 13 membres, five are appointed by the political parties or coalitions of parties with representation in the Assembly of the Republic according to the principle of parliamentary representation and the remaining eight are proposed by civil society organisations. The president of the CNE is elected among the candidates presented by the civil society organisations by consensus. The CNE is organised into five working commissions: a) electoral organisation and operations; b) legal and deontological affairs; c) training and civic education; d) administration and finance; and e) internal and external relations. The CNE is supported by 11 temporary provincial commissions of elections- which start functioning 60 days before the voter registration and electoral acts and close 30 days after the announcement of the election results pending the delivery of their final report of activities- and 148 temporary district commissions for elections – which start functioning 30 days before the voter registration and electoral acts and close 15 days after the announcement of the election results pending the delivery of their final report of activities. Both the provincial and district commissions for elections are composed by 11 members: five members presented by political parties according to their parliamentary representation and six presented by civil society organisations with the approval of the political parties. The president of each commission is elected among the six members presented by civil society organisations.
The Electoral Administration Technical Secretariat (STAE) is a public service body technically supporting the CNE and under its authority and guidance. The STAE is present at national, provincial and district levels and has a general mandate to perform technical and administrative activities so that elections can take place. The main functions of STAE are conducting voter registration, ensuring transportation and distribution of the electoral material, respecting the regulations, instructions and directives issued by the CNE, training electoral staff, organizing and conduct the electoral process, informing and issue opinions on electoral matters, ensuring the execution of statistical studies on elections and their publication;
Finally, the Constitutional Council is a judicial body that performs some tasks regarding the electoral process such as accepting the nomination of presidential candidates, deciding on appeals of electoral disputes, and officially announcing the results of elections.