Mozambique: a success story continues?
During Mozambique’s multiparty elections in December 1999, FRELIMO won against RENAMO-UE in the presidential and parliamentary elections. RENAMO refused to accept the results, but the Supreme Court declared them valid. Economically, at the end of the 1980s, Mozambique faced transition from a socialist-orientated regime to a democracy and from a planned economy to a liberal market. From 1987, the IMF supported Mozambique’s adjustment effort and economic growth increased. However, developments depend on foreign direct investment and concentrate on mega-projects like MOZAL. The structure of Mozambique’s economy will not change overnight; the largest sector is still agriculture and fishing, and AIDS threaten economic development. Politically, when the civil war ended in 1992, Mozambique faced the peace process and implementation of democratic structures. Acceptance of the 1994 election results contributed to consolidating the peace process. However, RENAMO boycotted the 1998 local elections. FRELIMO ensured that the legal framework for the 1999 elections was based on consensus between the main antagonists and that the electoral process remained transparent. In contrast to 1994, election organisation was entirely in Mozambican hands. Although declared ‘free and transparent’, it wasn’t entirely fair: the pre-election phase was not equal for all participants, and results were not universally accepted. The composition of the new government has not provided any surprises, which is a sign of continuity. The aftermath of the elections shows that RENAMO’s destructive policy may force FRELIMO to make concessions for political stability. Mozambique’s move towards democracy continues to be a long and slow process.