What Type of Government Does Mozambique Have?

The flag of Mozambique.
The flag of Mozambique.

Mozambique is a former Portuguese colony. The Portuguese ventured into the territory by way of trade in 1500. The armed struggle for independence in Mozambique was initially led by Eduardo Mondlane and lasted a decade. Mondlane was educated in America and was the founding President of FRELIMO (Mozambican Liberation Front) until his assassination in 1969. Mozambique became an independent country in 1975, although it immediately experienced a decade of economic collapse, civil war, and sabotage from bordering states. A new constitution was adopted in 1990, which enabled free elections, multi-party politics, and a market-based system.

Executive Branch of Government

Mozambique's constitution states that the president is the head of state as well as head of government, a symbol of national unity, and the commander of the nation's armed forces. The president is elected directly through run-off voting. If no candidate wins more than half the votes cast in the first round, the two candidates with the largest number of votes face off in a second round. The candidate who receives the most votes in this second round is declared president and serves a term of five years. Mozambique's president is responsible for the appointment of the prime minister. The prime minister coordinates ministerial activities, chairs the council of ministers, assists the president in governing the state, and also advises the president.

Legislative Branch of Government

Legislative duties in Mozambique are executed by a unicameral parliament referred to as the Assembly of the Republic. 250 members sit in the assembly, and are directly-elected via a party-list proportional representation system for a five-year term. In order for parties to gain parliamentary representation, they must receive a minimum of 5% of national votes. The most recent election in Mozambique took place in 2014, in which FRELIMO won 144 seats, RENAMO (Mozambican National Resistance) won 89 seats, and the Democratic Movement of Mozambique acquired 17 seats. The legislature convenes in the capital Maputo. The current speaker of the Mozambican parliament is Verónica Macamo.

Judicial Branch of Government

The Mozambican legal system has been influenced by Portuguese civil and customary law. The system features a civil and criminal system administered by the Ministry of Justice, as well as a military justice system governed by the Ministry of Defense in collaboration with the Ministry of Justice. The supreme court sits in Maputo, and has national jurisdiction. It consists of a president assisted by a vice-president and at least seven judges appointed by the Mozambican president on advice from the Superior Council of the Judiciary. The court of appeals in Mozambique gives audience to appeals from the provincial courts. A total of 19 provincial courts have different divisions for criminal, civil and administrative, labor, family, and maritime law. There are numerous district courts in Mozambique. The administrative court oversees administrative, customs, and fiscal matters. The Constitutional Council in Mozambique determines the constitutionality of laws, proposed referenda, and other legislative acts.

Administration Of Mozambique

The territory of Mozambique features ten provinces: Zambezia, Cabo Delgado, Maputo, Manica, Gaza, Tete, Nampula, Sofala, Niassa, and Inhambane. These provinces are further divided into 129 districts, which are broken down into 405 administrative posts, and subsequently into localities.


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